10th January 2023| Chhattisgarh
FICCI CASCADE organised a Seminar on ‘Preventive Strategies to Combat Counterfeiting and Smuggling’ on 10th January 2023 at Hotel Courtyard by Marriott, Raipur. Shri Amarjeet Bhagat, Hon’ble Minister of Food, Civil Supply and Consumer Protection, Planning Economic and Statistics, Culture, Government of Chhattisgarh was the chief guest at the seminar. While addressing the programme, he mentioned that the rapid growth of technology has led to a drastic increase in economic crimes and cybercrimes. Shri Bhagat emphasized that illicit trade activities are the major barriers in the path of economic growth of the country. Over the years, the government has initiated several mechanisms to ensure consumer safety and checking unfair trade practices, there is an urgent need of increased consumer awareness to tackle this problem, he added
Mr. Topeshwar Verma, Secretary, Department of Food, Civil Supply and Consumer Protection, Technical Education and Employment, Government of Chhattisgarh accentuated that Illicit activities such as smuggling and counterfeiting are global problems of enormous scale, impacting all stakeholders such as consumers, industry, government and society as a whole. He urged all stakeholders to join hands to collectively fight the menace of illicit trade. Mr. Verma emphasized the need to take a bill on every purchase, as it acts as evidence of transaction.
Mr P C Jha, Advisor, FICCI CASCADE and Former Chairman, Central Board of Indirect Taxes & Customs stated that illicit trade have a significant adverse effect on security, environment, health, safety and economy. Illicit trade is a low risk and high reward criminal activity. There is no manufactured product, illicit of which is not available in the market. Inadequate penal provisions and delayed prosecution/ adjudication proceedings do not create desired deterrence for illegal market operators, added Mr. Jha.
Mr. Abhijit Pati, Chairman, FICCI Chhattisgarh State Council and CEO & Director BALCO (Vedanta Group) opined that in the past ten years the magnitude of illicit trade has grown from USD 650 billion to about USD 3 trillion, representing 10 per cent of the global trade and rightly been termed as the crime of the 21st century by the FBI. Mr. Pati mentioned that there is a need for concerted effort by all stakeholders to ensure that an effective and workable deterrence is created.
Mr. Deep Chand, Advisor, FICCI CASCADE and Former Special Commissioner of Police, New Delhi chaired the Panel Discussion on Policies to Prevent Counterfeiting and Smuggling. While chairing the session he stated that it is important to work together across borders and sectors in order to disrupt the networks and supply chains that support smuggling. Strong laws and effective enforcement actions are critical to ensure that individuals and organizations are held accountable and deterred from engaging in illegal or harmful activities.
Panelist, Ms. Pratima Singh, Additional Commissioner, Central GST & Central Excise, Raipur highlighted that the custom department is at the forefront to save the society from the ill-effects of smuggling. She apprised that last year officials have seized 92,000 kg narcotics, 800 kg ganja and 36 lakh smuggled cigarette sticks from across the country. During the discussion, Dr. Sanjeev Shukla, IPS, Inspector General of Police, CID, Raipur emphasized that it is essential for enforcement agencies to be proactive in combating smuggling to protect the national security, support the economy, and prevent criminal organizations from gaining a foothold in the country. There is a need to increase intelligence gathering, surveillance, risk assessments, and targeted operations.
Shri Praveen Mishra, Hon’ble Secretary, District Legal Services Authority, Raipur highlighted that the existing punishments that are handed out in compliance with the various legal laws are not as effective as they could be in preventing the threat of smuggling and counterfeiting. Therefore, there is a need to enhance stringent laws and regulations to prevent illicit trade.
Shri Arvind Agrawal, Director, VNR Seeds Pvt Ltd., Raipur stated that stakeholders, including governments, law enforcement agencies, international organizations, businesses, and civil society groups, can play a critical role in battling the menace of illicit trade by working together to share information, resources, and expertise. This will help to create a more secure and sustainable global economy that benefits everyone.
Ms. Jaya Mishra, Member, FICCI Chhattisgarh State Council and President, Shri Shankaracharya Technical Campus during her vote of thanks, mentioned that students can play an important role as brand ambassadors and torchbearer in the fight against illicit trade. Winners of the competitions organised in Bhilai on the “Role of Youth in Making India Free from Smuggling & Counterfeiting” were also awarded at the seminar. The conference was attended by more than 250 industry captions, representatives from consumer forums, government officials and other stakeholders in this segment.
Seminar on Preventive Strategies to Combat Counterfeiting and SmugglingDownload Pdf