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Illicit markets a concern to growing economy

Parallel to the growing legitimate businesses, illicit markets have taken deep roots in various sectors. A 2012, FICCI CASCADE study titled, “socio-economic impact of counterfeiting, smuggling and tax evasion” brought to light the size of illicit trade in seven key sectors and the loss to government due to these. FICCI yet again released the report for this year which covers various products including tobacco, mobile phones, FMCG, packaged foods, FMCG personal goods, computer hardware, auto components, alcoholic beverages and the media and entertainment industry. P C Jha, Adviser FICCI CASCADE and former Chairman, Central Board of Excise and Customs pointed to the massive increase in illicit trade: “in last 20 years, the volume of counterfeiting activity has increased 100 times and the size of trade is 10 per cent of legal international trade.”

In all these segments there is a considerable increase in the size of the grey markets when compared to the 2010 data. The estimated loss to these sectors has increased by 44.4 per cent from 2010 amounting to Rs 105,381 crore. This causes a loss to the tune of Rs 39,239 crore to the government. “In the past few decades, leading intelligence and law enforcement agencies have pointed to involvement of terrorist organisations in counterfeiting, piracy and smuggling to fund their activities,” said Deep Chand, Adviser FICCI CASCADE.


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