Counterfeiting, forgery result in employment loss of about 15.96 lakh: FICCI report
The estimated tax loss to the government due to illicit goods through counterfeiting, forgery and smuggling is Rs 58,521 crore
The rise in offences like counterfeiting, forgery, and smuggling is due to rapid technological advancements, including the use of computers and sophisticated electronic devices, said Vijay Singh, director, Delhi Police Academy.
“Increased demand for illicit products, coupled with a lack of awareness among the general public, contributes to the expansion of these unlawful activities,” Singh said while addressing a FICCI-CASCADE workshop on ‘Capacity Building Program for Police Officers of Delhi’.
He said it is the mandatory duty of law enforcement agencies to tackle the issues of counterfeiting and smuggling on a broader scale, ensuring that wrongdoers face the full force of the legal system and are duly punished.
The workshop titled ‘Empowering Actions to Combat Counterfeiting and Smuggling’ will act as a platform for law enforcement officers to augment the abilities in identifying, preventing, and addressing illegal trading operations.
“Sensitising and updating the Delhi Police investigators through this capacity building programme is a part of the continuous endeavour of Delhi Police Academy in creating a trained and well-oriented police force,” Singh said.
As per a FICCI-CASCADE report titled ‘Illicit Markets: A Threat to Our National Interests’, the unlawful trade in the five key industries (mobile phones, FMCG-household and personal goods, FMCG-packaged foods, tobacco products, and alcoholic beverages) results in a total estimated legitimate employment loss of 15.96 lakh.
The estimated tax loss to the government due to illicit goods in these industries is Rs 58,521 crore, with two highly regulated and taxed industries, tobacco products, and alcoholic beverages, accounting for nearly 49 per cent of the overall tax loss.
Special commissioner, training, Delhi Police SK Gautam said in today's fast-evolving landscape, effective law enforcement demands not only knowledge but also adaptability.
“Our commitment to excellence in police training, in collaboration with FICCI CASCADE, ensures that our officers are well-prepared to address the ever-changing challenges of our society, particularly the concerning rise in smuggling and counterfeiting activities,” Gautam said.
He said these unlawful practices not only undermine our national economy but also threaten the well-being of our citizens. “Through this programme, we empower our officers to combat the insidious forces behind smuggling and counterfeiting, safeguarding our communities, upholding the law, and preserving our nation's integrity,” he said.
Deep Chand, advisor, FICCI-CASCADE and former special commissioner of police, New Delhi, said there is a need to combat illegal trade cannot be overstated.
“It poses a risk to public health, causes losses to the exchequer, and finances illegal organisations. It creates a shadow economy and erodes precious tax revenue that could otherwise be used to augment public services like healthcare and education,” he said.
He said the fight against illegal trade is not only financial but also about safeguarding society as a whole and we must ensure that collective efforts are made to confront this menace.
Also Read: ATM dispenses fake currency notes in UP
Col Atul Yadav, general manager-north, industry affairs, ITC Ltd. said the illegal trading activities create a ripple of economic losses in any country. “Whether it is the government, businesses or the consumer — all suffer from the ill-effects of counterfeiting and smuggling. A major driver for the rampant increase of smuggling is high taxes which create a significant arbitrage to fuel such activities,” Yadav said.
He said that the extent of smuggling in the country is a cause of great concern.
Sreejita Dey, public policy manager, Amazon India said Amazon has introduced several initiatives and have put in resources to help customers enjoy the benefits of online shopping.
She said the focus is to make Amazon marketplace reliable and safe for customers, brands, and sellers to conduct transactions. In order to safeguard consumers from bad actors, Amazon offers an A-to-Z guarantee, enabling customers to make purchases on their platform with a sense of confidence and security.