Millennium Post

Ficci Cascade constitutes Think Tank

New Delhi: FICCI's dedicated vertical, Committee Against Smuggling and Counterfeiting Activities Destroying the Economy [CASCADE] has constituted a think tank which will advise, direct and provide necessary inputs in formulating a strong & effective future course of action to eliminate the menace of illicit trade. With the ever changing scenario of technology, trade policies and development of the law on the subject, the constitution of a Think Tank to guide and suggest inputs in mitigating this challenges arising out of illicit trade practices is opportune.

The Think tank comprises Ajay Shankar, Former Secretary, Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP),Govt of India; Anil Sinha, Former Director, Central Bureau of Investigation; Hem Kumar Pande , Former Secretary, Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution; Kameswari Subramanian, International Expert, Customs Law, Procedures & Trade Facilitation; Justice Manmohan Sarin, Former Lokayukta, NCT of Delhi, Chief Justice, High Court of Jammu & Kashmir, Judge, High Court of Delhi; Najib Shah, Former Chairman, Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs; Narendra K Sabharwal, Chairman, FICCI IP Committee & Former Deputy Director General, WIPO; Neeraj Kumar, Former Commissioner, Delhi Police; P K Malhotra. Former Secretary Law, Ministry of Law and Justice; Sanjeev Tripathi, Former Chief, Research and Analysis Wing (RAW); Vikram Srivastava, Former Director General, Central Reserve Police Force and Anil Rajput, Chairman, FICCI CASCADE

It is estimated that the total economic and social costs globally due to counterfeiting and piracy world-wide stood between USD 737 to USD 898 billion in 2013 and this is expected to go up to USD 1.54 to USD 1.87 trillion by 2022, suggesting an increase of 108 per cent. Illicit trade is a major and growing problem worldwide, be it smuggling, counterfeiting or tax evasion. The market for contraband and smuggled goods is thriving in India and today is also one of the biggest issues faced by the Indian industry and Government.

Given the emphasis on India's economic development and the much anticipated growth trajectory; technology, invention, and innovation play a key role in charting out India's growth strategy. However, illegal trade practices will hinder this progression. India today has the potential to become a global manufacturing hub. However, in the absence of an adequate enforcement mechanism to stop counterfeiting and smuggling, can act as a dampener in achieving this goal.

The kick off meeting of the Think Tank was held on 24th July 2018. Anil Rajput, Chairman, FICCI CASCADE stated "It is now evident that the problem of illicit trade is serious and needs to be dealt on war footing.

This think tank will develop a road map to address the challenges and proactively work with the policy makers to devise a framework which will protect and promote legal Industry in the Country."

Arun Chawla, Deputy Secretary General, said "FICCI's Committee Against Smuggling and Counterfeiting Activities Destroying the Economy (CASCADE) is a unique effort by an industry body which is in the area of trying to control this tumorous threat through its initiatives and activities. Over the years the message we are trying to convey is that such illicit activity should not be tolerated at any cause as it is extremely harmful for the economy, harmful not only for business, but for government which loses huge taxes, and most importantly harmful for consumers as they end up getting non secure, unhealthy, substandard products which comes with no guarantees. Under the able guidance of the think tank members, our goal should be to advocate policy reforms and to foster international cooperation aimed at the reduction and deterrence of illicit trade".

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