by IANS |
New Delhi, Nov 17 (IANS) Addressing the FICCI-CASCADE Capacity Building Program for Police Officers, Vijay Singh, Director, Delhi Police Academy, on Friday underscored the extensive impact of illicit trade on children, families, and future generations.
Emphasizing the crucial need for law enforcement to possess an in-depth understanding of the laws combating this menace, he highlighted the significant threat posed by criminals involved in smuggling and tax evasion, resulting in substantial revenue losses.
Singh stressed the importance of officers distinguishing between counterfeit and authentic products, especially through effective brand identification.
As the backbone of law enforcement, officers were urged to actively survey markets, collaborate with agencies, and gather intelligence. Singh stated that the essential steps of heightening market awareness, fostering collaboration with agencies, and utilizing resources like FICCI CASCADE to suppress the trade of illicit goods. He underscored the vital role of officers in effectively combating the escalating threat of illicit trade and called for a strengthened commitment to this mission.
The workshop titled ‘Empowering Actions to Combat Counterfeiting and Smuggling’ has been organised with an objective of initiating a dialogue on the necessity for law enforcement officers to improve their skills in addressing diverse aspects of illicit trade and putting an end to such activities.
Uma Shankar, Deputy Director, Delhi Police Academy said, “A well-trained and empowered police force acts as the frontline defence against threats like counterfeiting, smuggling, or other illegal activities. Capacity-building workshops serve as an investment in enhancing the resilience of our society, preserving the rule of law, and ensuring the well-being of citizens.”
Sharing his views on the socio-economic impact of counterfeiting and smuggling, Deep Chand, Advisor, FICCI CASCADE and Former Special Commissioner of Police, New Delhi, said, “Counterfeiting and smuggling have several detrimental effects. They result in significant losses for legitimate businesses, erode consumer trust, and deprive the nation of crucial revenue, thereby hindering overall growth and development. Moreover, the associated health risks of counterfeit products are a grave concern, posing a direct threat to the well-being of the public.”
Col Atul Yadav, General Manager- North, Industry Affairs, ITC Ltd. stated, “Counterfeiting and smuggling have far-reaching consequences on a nation’s social and economic fabric. They lead to a state of disorder and corruption as criminals exploit the vulnerabilities to advance their illegal activities.”
“The notable increase in seizure of illicit cigarettes, rising from 141.91 crore in 2015 to 6659.63 crore by 2023, underscores the pressing need to address revenue losses. Recognising and identifying illicit products are essential steps in preventing tax evasion. The extent of smuggling in the country is a cause of great concern. To counter this, it is imperative for nations to prioritize strategies for empowering law enforcement agencies to effectively combat illegal trade,” he added.
As per the FICCI CASCADE’s 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.
The programme witnessed enthusiastic participation from over 450 officers in Delhi and Goa, equipping them with valuable skills and knowledge to address the adverse impacts of counterfeiting and smuggling.
FICCI CASCADE has been over the years working closely with government, industry, enforcement officials, legal fraternity, consumer organizations and the youth to create awareness on the adverse impact of the problem of counterfeiting and smuggling. Among other activities, FICCI CASCADE has been regularly engaging with law enforcement agencies, including police, customs and paramilitary organisations engaged in border protection in sensitizing them on the gravity of the problem.