Webinar on Combating Counterfeiting and Smuggling during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond
Be Vocal for Local and Prevent Illicit Trade
22 December 2021 | Focus State – Odisha
The problem of illicit trade has only compounded in the current situation of COVID 19, where criminals have used the pandemic as an opportunity to cause significant damage on the economy of the nation, health and safety of the consumers. FICCI’s Committee Against Smuggling and Counterfeiting Activities Destroying the Economy (CASCADE) in its series of state specific webinars on “Combating Counterfeiting and Smuggling during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond’, organized the next edition in the series for the state of Odisha on December 22, 2020. The webinar discussed and underscored the efforts that the industry & government have taken and could further take in tackling the flow of illicit products during the current crisis.
Capt. Dibya Shankar Mishra, Minister for Industries, MSME, Energy and Home, Govt of Odisha was the chief guest at the programme. While addressing the audience he said, “The menace of counterfeit and smuggled goods have penetrated deep into our society and is impacting the socio-economic prosperity of the country, which needs to be addressed immediately.” “Strict enforcement plays a very important role in curbing the menace of illicit trade. I am proud to share that Odisha’s enforcement agencies have been vigilant in fighting these illegal activities”, Capt. Mishra added.
Mr D P Dash, Former Pr. Director-General, DRI, Former Chairman, Enforcement Committee, World Customs Organisation (WCO) and Think Tank Member, FICCI CASCADE said, “inculcating moral values amongst children to buy genuine goods with bills on payment of taxes is an intergenerational investment in the fight against illicit trade.” He further said that penal provisions under central and state laws should be invoked to make a real impact in the fight against illicit trade.
Mr. Anil Rajput, Chairman, FICCI CASCADE in his welcome address said, “illicit products have infiltrated everyday avenues of commerce, making their way into supply chains and consumers’ homes, thereby threatening manufacturers’ competitiveness, undermining consumer confidence and posing a threat to individuals health and safety”. “I must also compliment the Odisha government and the enforcement agencies for relentlessly pursuing the perpetrators of illicit trade. Despite the mammoth challenge posed by COVID 19 pandemic, their hands-on approach and alertness have been highlighted by seizures of large number of fake and smuggled medicines, currency, consumer goods, food products, cigarettes and much more”, Mr. Rajput added.
“Counterfeiting and smuggling causes an economic loss to the nation which can be addressed at the grassroot level by educating the school children and MSMEs on the impact of illicit trade,” said Ms Monica Nayyar Patnaik, Chairperson, FICCI Odisha State Council & MD, Sambad Group.
Mr. Sanjeev Mahapatra, Member, FICCI Odisha State Council and Director, Terrablock Machinery in his concluding remarks said that it is time we hone India’s inherent strength and capabilities to be resilient, competitive and attractive, so that our economy can adapt to the challenges in the post COVID era.
The speakers reiterated that consumer safety and safeguarding legitimate businesses while promoting indigenous production will also play a significant role in the country’s post-pandemic economic recovery.
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