February 21, 2023 | Dimapur, Nagaland
Assam Rifles is committed to working with all central and state agencies to combat illegal trade and smuggling in the North-east. FICCI CASCADE lauds Assam Rifles’ successful interception of products such as illicit cigarettes, liquor, currency, contrabands and many more in the recent past in the Northeastern states. To engage and sensitize the officers on the subject of counterfeiting and smuggling, FICCI CASCADE organised a Capacity Building Programme for the officers of Assam Riffles on 21st February 2023 at Assam Rifles Training Centre & School, Dimapur, Nagaland.
Brigadier S K Sheoran, YSM, SM, Deputy Inspector General, Assam Rifles Training, Centre and School, Dimapur, Nagaland was the chief guest at the programme. Brigadier Sheoran stated that the government has given power to the Assam Rifles under the Narcotic Drugs & Psychotropic Substances (NDPS), Act to keep a check on the ongoing increase in drug trafficking in the North-Eastern states. Drugs, cigarettes, arms and ammunition and betel nuts are few products which are frequently smuggled into our country. There is a need for stringent punishment and to inculcate a fear of law enforcement agencies and law and order to curtail the problem of illicit trade.
Brigadier Sheoran cited that the only way to stop smuggling at the border is to stay alert and have suspicious eye on everything coming in the country especially because of the porous and unfenced border India share with Myanmar, added Brigadier Sheoran. He apprised that smuggling and counterfeit trade hold back progress, impact health of the economy and create safety hazards for consumers. Therefore, significant steps should be taken against illicit traders to battle the menace of smuggling.
While giving an overview on socio-economic impact of counterfeiting and smuggling, Mr Deep Chand, Advisor, FICCI CASCADE and Former Special Commissioner of Police, New Delhi mentioned that Assam Rifles proactive vigilance in intercepting the movement of smuggled products is a definitive step towards putting the fear in the hearts of smugglers who deal in illicit trade activities. “The capacity building program is aimed to sensitize the officers of Assam Rifles on the gravity of the issue and amplify the need for a greater focus on combatting smuggling and related crimes at the border”, said Mr. Chand.
Mr. Avinash Sinha, Regional, Manager, Industry Affairs (East), ITC Ltd. accentuated that among the illicit & smuggled goods, cigarettes have emerged as one of the most lucrative products, witnessing the highest jump in the recent past, and it accounts for 1/3rd of the legal cigarette market in the country. It calls for heightened surveillance and stricter enforcement to curb the menace of illegal cigarettes in India added, Mr. Sinha.
Mr. Milind Palany, Senior Manager, Global Brand Protection, Southern Asia and ANZ, Johnson & Johnson Consumer Health opined that in India smuggling, counterfeiting, tax evasion and illicit trade is impacting legitimate economic activity. It also deprives the government’s revenues for investment in vital public services, dislocating millions of legitimate jobs and causing irreversible damage to ecosystems and human lives. This is critical at a time when India is making strong progress to become a manufacturing hub for the world, supporting innovation in every sector and focusing on people-centric development models.
Ms. Shamin Marwah Anand, Legal Manager, Marico Limited talked about the consequences of counterfeits, which are considerable, and they affect industry, consumers, government and society. “Individual consumers purchasing counterfeit goods are denied the use of safe and genuine products, especially if they believe they are purchasing legitimate products. In addition to legitimate loss of sales, companies may suffer loss of reputation from poorly performing counterfeit product and that finally entities like government may suffer from loss of revenue, societies may suffer risks to public health and safety”, said Ms. Anand.
The programme witnessed an enthusiastic participation of more than 500 officers from across the north-eastern states.
Media Coverage- Capacity Building Programme for Officers of Assam RiflesDownload Pdf