Urgent need to raise awareness on illicit products: FICCI

Hyderabad: There is an urgent need to increase consumer awareness on illicit products, the surge in which is adversely affecting Indian consumers, industry chamber Ficci said on Tuesday.

At a Ficci-Committee Against Smuggling and Counterfeiting Activities Destroying the Economy(CASCADE) seminar on combating counterfeiting and smuggling, it was revealed that there has been a 44.4 per cent increase in the total estimated loss to industry at caused by illicit products.

“Illicit products are adversely affecting Indian consumers and there is an urgent need to increase consumer awareness. The total estimated loss to the industry is Rs 1,05,381 crore, an increase of 44.4 per cent,” a Ficci statement said.

Ficci-CASCADE reports estimate that in India the total loss to the government on account of illicit markets in just seven manufacturing sectors is Rs 39,239 crore.

“Amongst the various sectors, the maximum revenue loss to the exchequer on account of counterfeiting and illicit trade is attributed to tobacco products (Rs 9,139 crore) followed by mobile phones (Rs 6,705 crore) and alcoholic beverages (Rs 6,309 crore),” Ficci said.

According to the industry body, nearly 20 per cent of accidents on Indian roads are caused by counterfeit auto-products.

“In the FMCG (fast moving consumer goods) sector, 30 per cent of goods sold are fake and 80 per cent consumers believe that they are using genuine products. It must be noted that the seizures are only the tip of the iceberg in illegal trade in the country,” the statement said.

According to a Ficci report titled “Invisible Enemy – A Threat to Our National Interests” on the impact of contraband goods on the economy, counterfeiters are now switching over to cigarettes, fabric and silk yarn as they are “low-risk, high-reward goods”.

The Hyderabad seminar is part of a series of sensitisation and capacity building programmes planned over the rest of the year for enforcement officials in different states including Maharashtra, West Bengal, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Delhi, Karnataka, Jammu and Kashmir among others, the release added.

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