Kawasi Lakhma, Minister, Commerce and Industry, Govt. of Chhattisgarh today said, “Effective actions to eliminate smuggling and counterfeiting from the State is a focus area for our government and the concerned departments are extremely vigilant in dealing with such cases.” Addressing a webinar ‘Combating Counterfeiting and Smuggling during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond’, organized by FICCI’s Committee Against Smuggling and Counterfeiting Activities Destroying the Economy (CASCADE), Lakhma said that the Chhattisgarh government has taken unprecedented reforms to create an enabling environment and is committed to offering investor a friendly infrastructure.
He added that it is imperative that we must all collaboratively check and substantially reduce the illicit market operations and create an eco-system for growth and development in the State. Manoj Kumar Pingua, Principal Secretary Department of Commerce & Industry, Government of Chhattisgarh said, “India’s role as a global economic powerhouse is increasingly linked to its ability to ensure that rights of legitimate business holders are protected with strong rules, and strong enforcement of the laws and regulations”. He further highlighted the need for effective coordination between central and state agencies, strengthening domestic manufacturing, addressing the demand and supply gap and leveraging technology, which will make markets free from illicit products. R. K. Vij, Additional Director General of Police, Chhattisgarh said, “During COVID times the Chhattisgarh police has taken strict action against people who have been involved in smuggling and have dealt strongly against those who have indulged in the black marketing of consumer goods”. A nodal agency comprising of representatives from different government departments will ensure coordinated actions against this menace, he suggested.
Anil Rajput, Chairman, FICCI CASCADE said, “I must compliment the Chhattisgarh government and the enforcement agencies for relentlessly pursuing the perpetrators of illicit trade.” He added that under the leadership of the commerce and industries minister, promotion of local goods and legitimate businesses will create a conducive environment for the economy of the state government and play a major role in strengthening India. As cases related to smuggling and counterfeiting rise steeply during the past few months, today’s webinar was organized to discuss and understand the disruptions caused by the pandemic, which have opened multiple avenues for criminals to prey upon susceptible organizations and consumers. The webinar was attended by industry, government officials, officers from the enforcement agencies and stakeholders in this segment and focused on the state of Chhattisgarh.
This initiative is a part of a series of such interactions to be organized across the country by FICCI CASCADE to highlight the issue of counterfeiting and smuggling and elicit response from different states. The session was chaired bySanjeev Tripathi, Former R&AW Chief and Think Tank Member, FICCI CASCADE.The concluding remarks were made byPradeep Tandon, Chairman, FICCI Chhattisgarh State Council and President, Jindal Steel and Power Ltd.