PREVENTION OF COUNTERFEITING, SMUGGLING AND PIRACY – Capacity Building Programme for Police Officers
November 22, 2018 Academy for Smart Policing, Chanakyapuri, New Delhi
Over some time now, trade in counterfeit, smuggled and pirated goods has developed into a substantial threat to the Indian economy and pose serious safety and security hazards to the society at large. Different government agencies are involved at various stages in tackling such crimes, right from detection, investigation, prosecution to prevention of such offences, often including the recovery of the proceeds of crime. The Police department is the primary law enforcement agency in our country. With low barriers to market entry and infiltration, the Police plays a very significant role in ensuring the protection of right owners. Although there are adequate laws available, their enforcement makes the role of police officers even more important in the fight against counterfeiters and smugglers.
FICCI’s Committee Against Smuggling and Counterfeiting Activities Destroying the Economy [CASCADE] in its endeavor to combat crimes related to smuggling and counterfeiting has over the years been sensitizing the country’s enforcement agencies on this issue, equipping them to understand and take requisite action against the various economic offenders. In this backdrop, FICCI CASCADE organized a training programme in association with Delhi Police on Prevention of Counterfeiting, Smuggling and Piracy for the Delhi Police officers on November 22, 2018 at the Academy of Smart Policing, Chanakyapuri, New Delhi. A key objective of the program was to sensitize the participating officials on the seriousness of the socio-economic impact of counterfeited and smuggled goods, in terms of the huge revenue losses to the government and industry as well as the significant health and safety consequences faced by consumers.
The program was inaugurated by Mr. K Jagadeesan, Jt. Commissioner of Police-Training, Delhi Police, who observed that India as a rising economic superpower needed to take offences relating to counterfeiting and smuggling very seriously and that police had a significant role in fighting this menace. He further reiterated that although such offenses were looked at as a victimless crime, it had many far-reaching consequences which was why is was extremely important for a police officer to understand the consequences before taking actions on ground. “Only then will an officer investigating a case related to smuggling and counterfeiting be able to understand and take suitable actions”, Mr. Jagadeesan emphasized.
Mr. Deep Chand, Advisor, FICCI CASCADE, in his address informed about FICCI CASCADE’s mandate of capacity building of law enforcement agencies including Judges, Police and Customs Officers, and how CASCADE had been working extensively and intensively in this area across the country, organizing training programmes and seminars along with continuous Interactions with the law enforcement authorities to emphasize the importance of increased awareness on the gravity of the problem.
Mr. Chand correlated smuggling and counterfeiting activity with the security challenge in different environments around the world. He cited various instances where illicit trade in goods was being increasingly used to fund anti-social and terrorist activities. He also felt that the need of the hour was tangible actions to increase enforcement, accompanied by enhanced punishments for effective deterrance. This is imperative to reassure legitimate business owners and consumers that the government is serious about protecting right owners, and this will, in turn, encourage greater support for government policies.
The training programme was attended by senior police officers of the rank Asst. Commissioner of Police and above, and provided a useful platform for the exchange of ideas and experiences in the enforcement of laws and practices while dealing with the perpetrators. This workshop was extremely helpful in sensitizing the police officers about the relevant laws and procedures to be followed while dealing with the cases related to smuggling and counterfeiting. The technical sessions were followed by an Interactive-Session between the participating officials and industry representatives. Industry members highlighted some of the on-ground practical issues which they faced while trying to curb the availability of spurious goods and collaborative actions they sought from police to counter this menace. Prototypes of fake and smuggled goods available in the markets were also displayed and discussed with the officers.
Among the speakers who discussed the wide-ranging concerns on the issue of counterfeiting, piracy and smuggling with the participating police officials were: Dr. Kshitij Kumar Singh, Assistant Professor, University of Delhi, Mr. Udaykiran Devineni, ICE Representative, Department of Homeland Security-Homeland Security Investigations, US Embassy, Ms. Priya Rao, Partner K&S Partners, Intellectual Property Attorneys, Mr. Madhuresh Singh, Head-Legal, Puma and Mr. Anubhav Jain, South Asia ACF Investigations Manager, Global Anti-Counterfeit Program, APJ Region Global Brand Security Group, HP.
All speakers unanimously agreed that the issue of illicit trade should be addressed as a high priority problem by the government. An orchestrated strategy including communication, coordination and close cooperation amongst various government agencies, law enforcement officials and private sector to combat this menace is imperative. Meanwhile, FICCI-CASCADE, in pursuance of its mandate, will continue to hold similar programmes across the country in briefing enforcement agencies on the procedural and enforcement issues while tackling illicit trading activities.Lear More
01-02 November, 2018
SHANGRI-LA’S EROS HOTEL, NEW DELHI, INDIA
Ensuring Brand Security for Sustained Businesses and Employment Generation
Students Join Hands to Fight Against Counterfeiting and Smuggling
With the unrelenting growth of illicit trade through counterfeiting and smuggling, FICCI CASCADE has been continuously campaigning against these activities. However, as the problem of counterfeiting and smuggling has led to more financial, economic and social crisis, it is our continuous endeavour to revisit, rethink and test new approaches in addressing this socio-economic challenge.
India has a young population profile and is set to be the youngest country by 2020. The youth of India being the country’s future, it becomes imperative to understand the power of the consumers of tomorrow. With youngsters becoming a key stakeholder for advocating socially responsible behaviour, FICCI CASCADE believes that it is important to bring them on board the awareness campaign and through them influence the society as a whole. We believe that an idea planted in their minds can become an instrument of change.
FICCI CASCADE has started a youth movement across the country to spread awareness among the young minds and seek their support to underpin the fight against counterfeiting and smuggling. Such a movement has offered the opportunity to bring in more people, particularly youngsters to push forward its actions to curb counterfeiting and smuggling.
In order to pick the brains of the young school children, FICCI CASCADE organised an Interschool Meet on the subject, where students from over 20 leading schools from Delhi and NCR competed against each other in two categories of competitions, namely, Painting and Elocution on the theme “Fight Against Counterfeiting and Smuggling” on 3rd October 2018. The key objectives of the competitions were to inspire the youth to take required actions to discourage and stop the purchase of counterfeit and smuggled goods.
The contest witnessed enthusiastic and active participation from students, most of whom were very impressive in expressing their concern on and the need to curb such illegal trade practices. The competitions provided a unique platform to the young minds to express their views through their oratory and creative talent on diverse themes like “Terrorism Financing through Smuggling”, “India – A Victim of Smuggling”, “India’s Brand Integrity at Stake due to Counterfeiting and Smuggling” etc.
The competitions were judged by Mr. P. C. Jha, Advisor, FICCI CASCADE & Former Special Chairman, Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC), Mr. Deep Chand, Advisor of FICCI CASCADE & Former Special Commissioner of Police, New Delhi and Dr. Usha Rao, Asst. Controller General, Patents and Design, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Govt. of India.
The winners in both the competitions were as follows:
1st – Alana Seby, Class IX, St. Francis de Sales Senior Secondary School, Janakpuri
2nd – Swapnil Srivastava, Class IX, Tagore International School
3rd – Prakriti, Class IX, DAV Public School, Pushpanjali Enclave
1st – Bhavya Wangnoo, Class IX Birla Vidya Niketan
2nd – Abhishek Rawat, Class X, Jindal Public School
3rd – Isha Sihag, Class IX, Jindal Public School and Hibah Ishan, Class IX, DPS, RK Puram
Through the competitions not only did all witness the skills and creative abilities of the school children, but also visible was the passion in them to bring about a change in the society by shunning fake products and saying no to smuggled goods.
To reiterate, awareness generation is extremely crucial in bringing change in attitudes from considering counterfeiting and smuggling activities as victimless crime to the realization that it entails grave risks, both social and economic. A pro-active and preventative approach and strategy is the need of the hour to curb the twin menace. 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. This youth awareness initiative is one of a series of such events to be organised across the country as part of a nation-wide awareness campaign to highlight the issue and focus on the growing menace of illicit trade.Lear More
27th September 2018 | Bhopal
27th September 2018 | Vellore Institute of Technology, Bhopal
A Candle Light Congregation on the theme “Let’s Fight Counterfeiting and Smuggling” was organised on 27 September 2018 with the students of Vellore Institute of Technology, Bhopal to fight the menace of counterfeiting and smuggling. The objective was to catch them young and educate them on the hazards posed by illicit trade.
The event, a part of the series of nation-wide awareness campaigns to highlight the issue of growing menace of illicit trading activities, the FICCI CASCADE candle light congregation saw the enthusiastic participation of over 250 students with candles in their hand and banners stating, ‘Buy Make in India’ and ‘Say No to Smuggled Goods’.
On this occasion, Dr. P Gunasekaran, Vice Chancellor, VIT Bhopal congratulated FICCI CASCADE for taking the step of initiating the youth movement against illicit trade in smuggled and counterfeit goods. He agreed that activities involving illicit trade like smuggling greatly hampered a nation’s economic independence and every citizen must pledge to not use such products and to fight the menace of smuggling and counterfeiting, which was in the larger interest of the national economy.
Media Coverage Seminar in BhopalDownload Pdf
26th September 2018 | Bhopal
ILLICIT TRADE: AN ECONOMIC CALAMITY
A report on FICCI CASCADE initiatives in Bhopal
In the modern economic era, where rapid changes and technological advancements accelerate international trade and lead to fragmentation of the global supply chains, there is the need to maintain a right balance between trade facilitation and law enforcement. Due to this advancement and expansion, it has been witnessed that the geographic scope, capacity and range of illegally traded goods have increased manifold over the years. Illicit trade including counterfeiting and smuggling threaten economies, communities and society as a whole.
In order to discuss this rampant threat of this illegal trade, FICCI CASCADE (Committee Against Smuggling and Counterfeiting Activities Destroying the Economy) organized a seminar on ‘Combating Counterfeiting and Smuggling – An Imperative to Accelerate Economic Development’ in Bhopal on 26 September 2018. The event was followed by a Candle Light Congregation on 27 September 2018 on the issue with the students of Vellore Institute of Technology. The objective to educate them on the hazards posed by counterfeiting and smuggling activities, besides urging them to join the campaign against the menace of illicit trade.
Justice N. K. Jain, Retired Judge of MP High Court and Chairman, Madhya Pradesh State Consumer Redressal Commission, The Chief Guest at the seminar, applauded FICCI CASCADE’s commitment and drive to curb illicit trading activities in the country and called for continued efforts to change the general mindset with respect to the use of smuggled and other illicit goods. Smuggled and counterfeited products are not only hampering the country’s economic growth but is also adversely affecting the social fabric and the well-being of its people. He further stressed on the need for framing robust policies and their effective implementation to curb this worldwide menace.
Mrs. Anuradha Sharma, Additional Director General, Madhya Pradesh Police, stated that counterfeiting and smuggling was a huge area of concern as it highly impacted the health and safety of the common people, along with revenue losses to industry and tax losses to the government. Those dealing in such trading activities have set up criminal networks, which have now acquired global proportions. Notably, illicit trade is resulting in increased unlawful activities by transnational criminal organizations, including terrorist groups. Such is the enormity of the problem that it calls for stern deterrence and joint action of all stakeholders.
Mr. Vijay Agarwal, Vice President, Federation of Madhya Pradesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry & CEO, Narmada Transmission Pvt. Ltd, while welcoming the participants, observed that counterfeited, smuggled and other forms of illicit products adversely impacted industries, consumers, and the government. It was, therefore, increasingly imperative to address this growing problem to safeguard the interests of legitimate industry, ensure competitiveness and their contribution to the growth of the economy.
Mr. P. C. Jha, Advisor, FICCI CASCADE and Former Chairman, Central Board of Excise and Customs, stated, “During the last twenty years, the volume of counterfeiting activities globally has increased 100 times and the size of trade in counterfeited goods is about 10 percent of the legal international trade (equal to 2% of the world’s overall economic output). The problem of illicit trade is much more serious than it is commonly perceived.”
To provide deeper insight into the issue of counterfeiting and smuggling and to rule out effective resolutions and practical solutions, representatives from different sectors presented their ideas and suggestions, and proposed initiatives that were required. The panelists also deliberated on the various steps needed to establish a robust mechanism to monitor the impact of these ill-gotten goods on the health and safety of people, and the framework needed for monitoring the cross-sectoral and multi-stakeholder losses due this menace. Mr. Ranjit Kumar, Joint Commissioner, Customs, Mr. D. Sreenivasa Varma, IGP, CID, Madhya Pradesh Police, Dr. Anamika Gulati, HOD, Quality Department, Dawat Foods Ltd., and Mr. Harendra Singh, Registrar, M P State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, who participated in the panel discussion, all agreed that recognizing this issue as a growing menace and raising awareness on the problem among the masses were important steps towards addressing the problem illicit trade by. Mr. Deep Chand, Advisor, FICCI CASCADE and Former Special Commissioner of Police, New Delhi, who chaired the panel discussion, informed that 8 to 15 percent of global GDP was impacted due to illicit trade and criminal activities and emphasized that all stakeholder, both as a nation and as a part of the global economy, need to take stern and resolute steps against such ill-intentioned activities.
FICCI CASCADE’s candle light congregation, organized subsequently as a part of the series of nation-wide awareness campaigns to highlight the issue of growing menace of counterfeiting and smuggling, saw an enthusiastic participation of over 250 students with candles in their hands and banners stating, ‘Buy Make in India’ and ‘Say No to Smuggled Goods’. On this occasion Dr. P Gunasekaran, Vice Chancellor, VIT Bhopal commended FICCI CASCADE for taking the step of initiating the youth movement against illicit trade, such as smuggled and counterfeit goods. He agreed that activities involving illicit trade curbed the economic independence and the youth of the country must pledge not to use fake products, while fighting the menace of smuggling and counterfeiting, for the larger interest of the nation’s economy.
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. These programmes are being organized as a series of events being undertaken across the country, highlighting the growing menace of illegal trade and the accompanying fallouts.
Enforcement Officers joined hands with FICCI CASCADE to fight the menace of smuggling and counterfeiting
July 27, 2018 | Academy for Smart Policing, Chanakyapuri, New Delhi
The existence and operation of illicit markets has been an enduring problem that has escalated in scope and magnitude, impacting industries, consumers, government and economies as a whole. In fact, it is today one of the biggest challenges faced by Indian industry, impacting ‘Brand India’ globally. Intellectual property rights incentivize innovation and creativity, which strengthen the economic growth of a nation. Enforcement agencies such as the police play a pivotal role in protection of these rights. There are adequate laws available to tackle such crimes, but their adequate enforcement makes the role of enforcement officers extremely important to fight against counterfeiters and smugglers.
FICCI’s Committee Against Smuggling and Counterfeiting Activities Destroying the Economy [CASCADE] in its endeavor to fight the twin menace has over the years been sensitizing the country’s enforcement agencies on this issue, equipping them to understand and take requisite action against the various economic offenders. Keeping the above in view, FICCI CASCADE organised a training programme for Delhi police officials at the Academy for Smart Policing in New Delhi, on 27th July 2018. A key objective of the program was to sensitize the officials on seriousness of the socio-economic impact of counterfeited and smuggled goods, in terms of the huge revenue losses to the government and industry as well as the significant health & safety consequences faced by consumers and the society at large.
Mr. Vivek Gogia, Special Commissioner of Delhi Police-Training, who inaugurated the programme, referred to the various studies which disclosed how rampant counterfeiting and smuggling were in medicines, cigarettes and drugs, and why partnerships among stakeholders were vital in addressing the problem. He also spoke on how the menace of illicit trade was funding organized crime, elaborating further on how protection of IP rights played a key role in the growth of an economy, on the profit and survival of business and industry, generation of employment. Congratulating FICCI CASCADE on the useful initiative to sensitizing police officers on this very pertinent issue, he urged the participating officers to take advantage of the presence of the various subject-experts during their subsequent interactions, stressing that “Police must protect the image of our country as a good enforcer of laws”.
During the ensuing sessions, the police officers were apprised on the counterfeiting and smuggling trends witnessed in various products, percentages of illicit products sold in open markets and the revenue losses incurred by Government. Mr. Deep Chand, Advisor FICCI CASCADE and former Special Commissioner of Delhi Police, spoke on the alarming occurrence of counterfeit products in various markets and its impact on the socio-economic growth of the nation. He informed that FICCI CASCADE reports estimates had put the total loss to Indian government because of illicit markets in just seven manufacturing sectors at Rs. 39,239 crores, while the estimated loss to industry was Rs. 1,05,381 crores, an increase of 44.4% in only two years, adding further that this loss was just the tip of the iceberg. The grey market economy is fueling illegitimate industry and leading to increased criminalization of the society in the form of organized crime, including terrorism. Global studies have indicated that criminal syndicates all over the world have taken to counterfeiting and smuggling to fund their nefarious activities, making our society not only unsafe but also significantly adding to the enforcement costs.
The training programme provided a useful platform for the exchange of ideas and experiences in the enforcement of laws and practices while dealing with counterfeiters and smugglers. The ensuing speakers deliberated on the various aspects that a police officer needed to keep in mind while investigating cases of illicit trading, including: legal provisions relating to economic offences, penalties imposable for counterfeiting and smuggling; cases of international best practices in fighting counterfeiting and other forms of illicit trade and practical aspects of investigation of IP and related economic crimes.
The technical sessions were followed by an Interactive-Session of the police officials with industry representatives. Industry members highlighted the on-ground practical issues which they faced with regards to the availability of spurious goods and discussed collaborative actions needed with enforcement agencies to counter this menace. Prototypes of fake and smuggled goods available in the markets were also displayed and discussed with the officers.
Among the speakers who discussed the wide-ranging concerns on this issue with the participating police officials were: Dr. Alka Chawla, Associate Professor, Faculty of Law, University of Delhi and Advisor, FICCI Intellectual Property Education Centre; Ms. Shilpi Jha, Senior Legal Counsel for Intellectual Property – South Asia, Embassy of the United States of America; Mr. Vikrant Rana, Managing Partner, S.S Rana & CO, Ms. Swati Mujumdar, Regional Legal Manager – North, Hindustan Unilever Ltd.; Ms. Lohita Sujith, Director, Corporate Communications, Motion Pictures Association, India and Mr. Sanjay Kaushik, Managing Director, Netrika Consulting and Investigations Ltd.
The workshop proved helpful not only in updating the police officers on the relevant laws and procedures to be followed while dealing with the cases related to smuggling and counterfeiting, but also in sensitizing them on the need to extend increased priority in tackling the illicit trade menace in view of its significant adverse socio-economic impact on the country. During 2018-19, FICCI-CASCADE proposes to hold more such workshops across the country in briefing enforcement agencies on procedural and enforcement issues while tackling illicit trading activities.Lear More
July 24, 2018 | ITC Maurya, New Delhi
Illicit trade holistically disrupts the sustainable development of a nation. It not only leads to loss of revenues to states, but also risks legitimate businesses. Besides, illicit trade causes significant threats to the health, safety and security of the citizens, as well as adds to costs on governance, environment and biodiversity. Problem of illicit trade is serious which needs to be dealt with sincere commitment leading to result- oriented effective steps addressing the challenge of counterfeiting and smuggling. In pursuance of the agenda, FICCI CASCADE has constituted a think tank which will advise, direct and provide necessary inputs in formulating a strong & effective course of action to eliminate the menace of illicit trade. The first meeting of the think tank is scheduled on 24th July 2018 at ITC Maurya, New Delhi to discuss factors which will help in mitigating the challenges arising out of illegal trade practices with regards to counterfeiting, smuggling and piracy.Lear More
12/6/2018 | Taj Banjara, Road 1, Banjara Hills, Hyderabad
Illicit trade costs billions of dollars in tax revenues, diminishing legitimate business revenues, distorting economies, eroding social fabric and fueling organized crime. In order to lower the incidence of such illegal trading activities, we need a coordinated response from all the stakeholders, bridge the enforcement gaps which can be exploited by criminal networks, reassess capacities to counter illicit trade, and identify areas which yield greatest public benefit and awareness.
Illicit trade is a major concern worldwide. To address this issue, FICCI CASCADE (Committee Against Smuggling and Counterfeiting Activities Destroying the Economy) organized a seminar on ‘Combating Counterfeiting and Smuggling – An Imperative to Accelerate Economic Development’ on 12 June 2018, in Hyderabad. The seminar was organized to provide stakeholders with the tools, information and capacity needed to tackle illicit trade.
Mr. Etela Rajender, Minster for Finance & Planning, Small Savings, State Lotteries, Consumer Affairs, Legal Metrology, Civil Supplies, Government of Telangana, the Chief Guest on the occasion, stated that counterfeiting and smuggling were a huge area of concern as it acutely impacted the health and safety of the common people, along with massive revenue and tax losses to industry and the governments, respectively. Such is the enormity of the issue that it requires stern deterrence and joint action between all stakeholders. He emphasized on the need for all enforcement mechanisms to come together to combat this menace. The Minister also stated that their government was very proactive in taking actions against the perpetrators. He extended the support of his government to FICCI in carrying forward the initiative against illicit trade, and welcomed the participation of industry and consumers in fighting the growing menace.
Mr. Devendra Surana, Chairman, FICCI Hyderabad State Council & Managing Director, Bhagyanagar India Ltd., while welcoming the dignitaries, referred to how counterfeiting and smuggling adversely impacting industries, consumers, government and economies as a whole worldwide. He observed that all stakeholders must understand the need for safeguarding the rights of legitimate industry and work towards developing competitiveness in various sectors of the economy.
Mr. Gowra Srinivas, President, Federation of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FTAPCCI), in his address, pointed out that counterfeit products were available across all industries. Even in the case of a critical item like intravenous fluids (saline water), more than 5% of the total world trade is estimated to be counterfeited. Rapid technology developments and low barriers to market entry are the main reasons for the increase in such activities. A vigorous implementation of laws was the need of the hour, he emphasized.
Mr. Anil Kumar Jain, Principal Commissioner, Customs, in his Special Address, stressed on the need to have a multi-disciplinary approach to encounter this challenge. Society at large, and trade and industry needs to come together to fight this major issue. He said that the problem was two-fold: counterfeiting and smuggling, and needed to be dealt with through collaborative, effective and stern actions. He also highlighted a recent case of illicit cigarette transactions at ICD, Hyderabad.
Mr. P. C. Jha, Advisor, FICCI CASCADE and Former Chairman, Central Board of Excise and Customs, stated that “During the last twenty years, the volume of counterfeiting activities globally has increased 100 times and the size of trade in counterfeited goods is 10% of the legal international trade (around 2% of the world’s overall economic output). The problem of illicit trade is much more serious than it is commonly perceived.”
The seminar also held a panel discussion on ‘Countering Counterfeiting and Smuggling: Resolutions and Solutions’, where experts from various fields deliberated on the issue at hand.
Mr. Deep Chand, Advisor, FICCI CASCADE and Former Special Commissioner of Police, New Delhi, who moderated the panel discussion, emphasized on the need for consumers being continuously made aware of the detrimental impact of illicit products. Awareness campaigns that explain to consumers how to differentiate a spurious product from a genuine one, to demanding a copy of the bill from the seller for every purchase, along with the harmful consequences of buying illegal products vis a vis a genuine one, were some of the key points that need to be explicitly conveyed in these initiatives.
Ms. J Parimala Hana Nutan, Superintendent of Police, Economic Offence Wing, CID, underlined the need for education and support from citizens to combat this evil. She said that such actions would enable Telangana Police to fight the menace of smuggling and counterfeiting strongly and effectively. “We don’t realize that the money generated from the purchase of fake products such as TVs, Handbags etc., are used for funding terror and anti-social activities around the globe.”
“Counterfeited mobile phones are easily available in India. We track each and every phone by matching IMEI and other features and identify whether it is genuine or not, and only then we allow for their imports”, said Mr. K Surender Paul, Deputy Commissioner, Customs. He also underlined the fact that disparity in taxes and prices of a commodity was another reason for increase in smuggling.
Mr. J L N Murthy, Advocate, Jonnalagadda LLP, appreciated Telangana Government’s initiatives to curb illicit trade. He lauded the consumer awareness program of Delhi Government which was using different medium of communication, and proposed that the Telangana government could also launch a similar drive. Mr. Gouri Sankara Rao, Chairman, Confederation of All Telangana Consumer Organizations (CATCO), underlined the need for Food Safety Officers for every 1 lakh people in India. He affirmed CATCO’s support to FICCI CASCADE in its nationwide awareness campaign to protect consumers rights in terms of health and safety, and proposed extending this drive to the remotest areas in the state”.
The panelists were in agreement that an effective deterrent in the form of strong laws was needed to be put in place to successfully curb the illicit trade menace.
Mr. Akhilesh Mahurkar, Head, FICCI Telangana and Andhra Pradesh State Council, proposing the Vote of Thanks, said that FICCI CASCADE will continue its campaign against illicit trade taking along all stakeholders in this activity, and thanked Minister Etela Rajender for his continuous support to FICCI’s initiatives.
The event witnessed enthusiastic participation of all the stakeholders present in the seminar, including representatives the government and enforcement agencies, consumer activists, the media personnel, and the industry and legal experts. Over 190 people attended the seminar that saw intense interaction with delegates demonstrating an active interest in the issue. The program concluded with a consensus that to mitigate this global risk, both the public and private sector decision makers needed a firmer understanding of the problem, the nature of its impact on the country’s economy, and a clearer understanding of the conditions that enabled it.
5/6/2018 | The Lalit Great Eastern, Kolkata
FICCI CASCADE with a view to engage all relevant stakeholders like government representatives, enforcement agencies, excise and customs, consumer activists, media as well as industry and legal experts, and to sensitize them to fight against counterfeiting and smuggling organized a seminar in Kolkata on “Combating Counterfeiting and Smuggling – An Imperative to Accelerate Economic Development” on June 5th 2018. The seminar brought experts from different disciplines of life under one roof to raise the concern over the growing illicit trade and to create large-scale awareness among the impacted segments of the society.
Counterfeit trade has attracted considerable attention among trade associations, government and enterprises. Therefore, to support the cause, seminar witnessed huge participation of over 100 delegates who were very enthusiastic to fight this menace. Mr. Mayank Jalan, Chairman, FICCI – West Bengal State Council & CMD, Keventer Agro Ltd. in his welcome address highlighted that counterfeiting and smuggling adversely impacts industries, consumers, government and economies as a whole. It is imperative to understand the need for safeguarding the rights of legitimate industry in developing competitiveness in various sectors of the economy.
Shri Sadhan Pande, Minister in Charge, Consumer Affairs Department, Government of West Bengal, and chief guest at the meeting stated that counterfeiting is a big issue in India which is affecting our revenues particularly the indirect taxes. In the state of West Bengal, minister cited examples of counterfeit products such as Tea, Cream etc which were finding its way to the retail market owing to their low prices. He also observed, among other products, illicit trade in cigarettes was also a concern area in the state. Hon’ble Minister thanked FICCI CASCADE for taking the lead in fighting this problem. He extended his support to FICCI and welcomed suggestions from industry in addressing this challenge.
FICCI CASCADE advisor Mr. P C Jha & Former Chairman, Central Board of Excise and Customs, pointed out that counterfeiting was the biggest scourge impairing the world’s economy, accounting for almost 10% of global trade. Elaborating on the magnitude of the problem, Mr. Jha informed that in India the total loss to the government in respect of just seven items, as per a FICCI CASCADE study estimate, had increased steeply from Rs. 26,190 crore to Rs. 39,239 crores. He also stated that counterfeiting was the number one crime of 21st century, putting at stake brand owners’ reputation, causing severe loss of revenue to the public exchequer, and posing a serious threat to the security – nationally and internationally.
The seminar also included a panel discussion on ‘Countering the Menace of Counterfeiting and Smuggling – Resolutions and Solutions’, where experts from related areas discussed the issue at hand. Mr. Deep Chand, Advisor, FICCI CASCADE and Former Special Commissioner of Delhi Police, in his address said “8 to 15% of global GDP is impacted due to illicit trade and criminal activities. It is time that we, as a national and as a part of the global economy, call for stern and resolute counterstrike force against such ill-intentioned activities”.
Mr. Deepankar Aron, Additional Director General, DRI, Zonal Unit Kolkata underlined that smuggling has more deleterious impact on economy. To counter them, DRI exposes fraudulent schemes and takes initiative to build synergy between DRI, police, industry bodies and judiciary. He informed that his department has seized counterfeit and smuggled products worth Rs. 350 crores apart from gold and drugs in the last financial year. “Seizure of tobacco products worth Rs. 110 crores have been made. Also, 110 kgs of gold worth Rs. 430 crores have been seized in the last one year”, he added.
Mr. Shrihari Pandey, IPS, Special Superintendent of Police, West Bengal in his address requested people to be proactive and inform the police on encountering fake products. He also informed that the police department regularly team up with officials from different enforcement agencies to curb the cross-border and domestic flow of counterfeit goods.
Mr. Gautam Banerjee, Principal Associate Patent & Trademark Attorney, Khaitan & Co. shared the magnitude of the problem. He highlighted that the counterfeiting business cost around Rs. 600 crore to the music industry and 20% of medicines in India are fake. He further added that counterfeiting has also led to loss of 8 lakh jobs annually.
Mr. Bibhav Pradhan, Regional Legal Manager East, Hindustan Unilever Ltd. emphasized on the help of IPC provisions, copyright infringement laws, court orders and police to combat counterfeiting and smuggling. He stressed on the need of awareness and advocacy to counter smuggling and counterfeiting. “Our main focus is on anti-counterfeiting initiatives, we need to understand this socio-economic problem and awareness must be our priority”, said Captain Shakil Ahmed, Senior General Manager Corporate affairs, Diageo India.
Ms. Mala Banerjee, President, Federation of Consumer Associations, West Bengal said that counterfeiting and smuggling continue to thrive globally due to the weakness of the consumers desire to acquire branded products at low cost and the lack of awareness adds to this menace. She emphasized on discarding the fake products and to take a pledge and work towards the common aim.
Mr. Harish Agarwal, Co-Chairman, FICCI – West Bengal State Council & Partner, Ernst & Young LLP in his concluding remarks proposed thanks to the Hon’ble Minister for his continuous support to FICCI. In his remarks he said that the problem of counterfeiting is estimated at $600 billion a year. Product counterfeiting has grown over 10,000% in the past two decades and continues to grow.
The seminar witnessed vigorous interaction with delegates demonstrating an active interest in the issue.
It ended with a common view that the problem of counterfeiting and smuggling is multifaceted and complex and need to be discussed time and again, with government, to emphasize on effective and adequate laws and enforcement; increasing engagement with the industry and most importantly creating awareness in the society to curb illicit trade. The seminar was very well received by all stakeholders and was widely covered by media.
Coverage ReportDownload Pdf
28/3/2018 | SRM University, Chennai
FICCI CASCADE also organized a Candle Light Congregation on “Fight Against Counterfeiting and Smuggling” in Chennai in association with SRM University on 28th March, 2018 to highlight the issue among the youth on the growing menace of illicit trade. Smt P C Thenmozhi, DIG, Tamil Nadu Police, Kancheepuram, Chief Guest on the occasion, underlined that activities involving illicit trade like smuggling curbed the nation’s economic independence. She urged the participating students to shun the use of fake products and thus participate in the fight against the menace of smuggling in the larger interest of the nation’s economy. “Illicit trade fuels black market which funds terrorist organizations. Let’s be more aware, reject such products and notify the enforcement authorities to help take actions against them” said Ms. Thenmozhi.
Prof. Dr. Sandeep Sancheti, Vice-Chancellor, SRM University in his special address appreciated FICCI CASCADE’s efforts in organizing the programme and in raising awareness on this important socio-economic issue, and motivated the students to join the FICCI CASCADE campaign. He added that curbing smuggling was an important step towards self-reliance, and a critical step towards safeguarding the boundaries of the nation.
More than 250 students, with candles in their hand and banners stating ‘Buy Genuine Not Smuggled’, participated in the congregation. A key objective of FICCI CASCADE is arming the youth with knowledge to make informed choices and awareness on the ill-effects of fake, counterfeit and smuggled products.Lear More