Due to widespread smuggling and counterfeiting in the country, India is suffering significant economic, health and safety consequences, said a senior government official recently.
Addressing the capacity building programme organised by NIACIN and FICCI’s Committee Against Smuggling and Counterfeiting Activities (CASCADE), Reena Arya, Additional Director General of the National Academy of Customs, Indirect Tax and Narcotics (NACIN) said, “Illicit trade is a global problem of enormous scale, impacting human lives and virtually every industry sector around the world — and India is no exception. It is suffering significant economic and health and safety consequences as a result of widespread smuggling and counterfeiting in the country.”
The FICCI CASCADE report reported a total loss of Rs. 39,239 crores to the government due to illicit markets in just seven manufacturing sectors in 2014.
Out of all the sectors, the maximum revenue loss incurred by the exchequer on account of counterfeiting and illicit trade is attributed to tobacco products, causing a revenue loss of about Rs. 9,139 crore followed by mobile phones at Rs. 6,705 crore and alcoholic beverages at Rs. 6,309 crores.
Giving a detailed overview of the socio-economic impact of illicit trade, P.C. Jha, the Advisor, FICCI CASCADE and Ex-Chairman, Central Board of Excise and Customs said, “Judges, police and customs officers and CASCADE have been working extensively in this area nationally, organising training programmes and seminars along with continuous interactions with the law enforcement authorities to emphasize the importance of continued awareness and seriousness of the impact of counterfeit and smuggled goods.”
This themed programme on Socio-Economic Impact of Illicit Trade was also attended by Ryan Ribner, Department of Homeland Security-Homeland Security Investigations, US Embassy, and Pramod Bhatt, Senior Director – Security and Intelligence (South Asia), Sanofi and over 145 officers of the Indian Revenue Service.