Candle light congregation against smuggling & counterfeiting
The market for fake, counterfeit and smuggled products is thriving in India and has become one of the biggest challenges faced by the Indian industry. It is adversely impacting genuine stakeholders and industry, besides the government and consumers. This calls for a nationwide campaign to highlight the issue amongst the masses and to formulate a strong and effective course of action to eliminate the menace of illicit trade.
With this view, FICCI CASCADE with CANS (Consumer Action and Network Society) organised a candle light congregation in Jaipur on May 14, 2015, which witnessed an enthusiastic participation from consumers and students from across Jaipur.
Hem Singh Bhadana, Minister of Food & Civil Supply, Consumer Affairs, Rajasthan, was the chief guest. He congratulated FICCI CASCADE for initiating the consumer movement against counterfeit and smuggled goods. The minister agreed that activities involving counterfeiting and smuggling curbs the economic independence and one must pledge to not use fake products and to fight the menace of smuggling which was in the larger interest of the nation's economy.
Deep Chand, Adviser, FICCI CASCADE and former Special Commissioner of Police, New Delhi, stated that the Indian government has initiated steps to address counterfeiting, piracy and smuggling. Two major efforts stand out. First, the legal framework is fairly well developed in India. Second, the government has taken steps to protect consumers' health and safety from dangerous counterfeits through significant education efforts.
Despite these actions, a study by FICCI CASCADE shows that counterfeit, piracy and smuggling rates remain high. The total loss to the government estimated for 2014, on account of the illicit markets in the selected seven sectors of the manufacturing industry is estimated to be Rs. 39,239 crore, up from Rs. 26,190 crores in 2012. Chand urged consumers to be aware and fight against the menace unanimously.
Several steps are being taken by FICCI CASCADE and the government to create large-scale awareness among the most impacted segment of this menace, the consumer. The candle light congregation organised in Jaipur, as a series of such events to be organised across the country, is part of a nationwide awareness campaign to highlight the issue and focus on the growing menace of counterfeiting and smuggling. More than 250 consumers with candles in their hand and banners stating 'Fight Smuggling' By 'Make in India' and 'Say No to Fakes' participated in this congregation .
In order to highlight the magnitude of illicit trade activities such as counterfeiting and smuggling, FICCI CASCADE organised a press conference on 'Illicit Trade – A Threat to our National Interest', preceding the candle light congregation on May 13, 2015. The key speaker, Dr. Alok Tripathi, Additional Director General of Police, ATS & SOG, Rajasthan Police, said that tax evasion and existence of fake goods were a deterrent to foreign investments. No foreign investor will take interest and come for investment in such an environment. He added that Rajasthan police was serious about taking action against such unlawful activities.
Consumers and youth join hands with FICCI CASCADE to curb the menace of counterfeiting and smuggling at a candle light congregation in Jaipur.