New Delhi: With illicit cigarettes capturing a fifth of the Indian cigarette market, a global tobacco major has said it will fund proposals under its $100 million global initiative to support third-party projects dedicated to the fight against illegal trade.
Philip Morris International (PMI), the makers of Marlboro cigarettes, established its PMI Impact initiative to support projects dedicated to fighting illegal trade and related crimes, such as corruption, organised crime and money laundering.
Private, public or non-governmental organisations have been invited to submit applications to avail funding under the second round of PMI Impact, the company said in a statement.
PMI has pledged $100 million across three funding rounds of PMI Impact.
In the first funding round of the initiative, 32 projects were selected from 200 proposals.
"PMI Impact encourages creative solutions and innovative actions that help advance global efforts against all forms of illegal trade," said R. Venkatesh, Director for Corporate Affairs, India Philip Morris.
"In India, PMI has contributed significantly over the past decade, partnering with law enforcement and investigative agencies in the fight against trade of illegal cigarettes," Venkatesh added.
According to an estimate by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry, illicit trade accounts for around 20 per cent of the total cigarette sales in India.
"We are looking forward to receiving... proposals that will help private and public organisations improve their knowledge and efficiency in the fight against this growing concern worldwide," Alain Juillet, member of the PMI Impact Expert Council, said.