Jayesh Ranjan, Principal Secretary to Government of Telangana, Industries & Commerce, Information Technology, Electronics and Communications Department yesterday said, “Long time multiplier effect of crimes such as counterfeiting, and smuggling is very harmful to the society at large and impacts effective governance.”
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), Ranjan said that it is very unfortunate that some people are trying to take advantage of this pandemic and thinking of counterfeiting and faking the COVID-19 vaccines. “The Telangana government is extremely cautious in protecting the larger public interest and is using blockchain and AI technology to create a deterrent environment against such crimes,” he added.
T Muralidharan, Chairman, FICCI Telangana State Council & Chairman, TMI Group said, “Discussions on combating smuggling and counterfeiting are even more important in the context of COVID-19 which is impacting the economy and is endangering lives of people. Illicit trade adversely impacts the manufacturing strength of the nation and if not checked will act as barrier to the government’s vision of making India a global manufacturing hub.”
Anil Sinha, Former Director, CBI and Think Tank Member, FICCI CASCADE emphasized on the need for policies and regulations which disincentivizes such illegal activity. He suggested how a nodal agency comprising of representatives from different government departments will ensure coordinated actions against this menace. FICCI CASCADE recently, had recommended to the Govt. of India for setting up of an umbrella body i.e., a multi-agency centre to ensure proper coordination amongst the concerned Ministries /Departments /Enforcement agencies to address the problems arising out of Illicit trade. This nodal agency could share intelligence and enhance cooperation among national and international bodies. Further, it could also make policy recommendations and build capacities to address the menace of counterfeiting and smuggling.
As cases related to smuggling and counterfeiting rise steeply during the past few months, the webinar was organized to discuss 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 Telangana.
This initiative is a part of a series of such interactions which are being organized by FICCI CASCADE, across the country to highlight the problem of counterfeiting and smuggling and elicit response from different states.