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FICCI CASCADE launches Hashtag BeACASCADER Campaign to Raise Awareness in the Fight Against Smuggling

New Delhi, Mon, 07 Aug 2023 NI Wire

NEW DELHI, 5 August 2023: FICCI Committee Against Smuggling and Counterfeiting Destroying the Economy (CASCADE) has intensified its campaign against Illicit Trade by launching the #BeACASCADER campaign today. As part of the campaign, an auto rally was organized to engage with people and create awareness on the detrimental consequences of illicit trade. The initiative witnessed over 250 auto rickshaws forming a convoy as they traversed a designated route which commenced from FICCI House at Tansen Marg.

Flagging off the auto rally, Mr Neeraj Singh, Chair, FICCI Young Leaders Forum, UP Chapter, Politician and Social Worker said, "Smuggling and counterfeiting not only hinder economic progress, but also jeopardize the future of our youth, cause job losses and pose health risks. To achieve our goal of becoming a 5 trillion-dollar economy, and eventually the world's largest economy, we must stand united and raise awareness against this critical issue. I express my gratitude to FICCI CASCADE for launching this campaign and extend my heartfelt thanks to all my auto driver brothers who have come forward to support this cause."

Mr Anil Rajput, Chairman, FICCI CASCADE said, "Illicit trade inflicts significant harm on individual industries and has a substantial negative impact on employment generation and economic growth. Illicit trade also poses a dual challenge for the government. Not only does it result in a loss of legitimate tax revenue, but it also demands additional allocation of resources for enforcement and public health measures."

"There is now a pressing need to intensify the campaign against smuggling and counterfeiting and highlight their detrimental consequences. The auto rally provides an opportunity to actively involve the Indian citizenry and make them aware of the multifaceted issues and challenges associated with illicit trade," Mr Rajput added.

The auto rally was meticulously organized and proceeded through Tansen Marg, Mandi House, Barakhamba Road, Outer Circle Connaught Place, Janpath, Tolstoy Marg and Barakhamba Road before culminating at FICCI House. The convoy of auto rickshaws carried vibrant banners, vividly highlighting the urgent issues associated with illicit trade. Emphasizing its severe repercussions, the banners carried messages about how illicit trade contributes to job losses, finances terror activities, fuels crime syndicates and is a health hazard.

According to the 2022 FICCI CASCADE study titled 'Illicit Markets: A Threat to Our National Interests,' the Government of India has faced an overwhelming tax loss due to smuggling which witnessed a staggering 163% rise, from 2010 to 2020. The financial impact reached a colossal 58,521 crore (up from Rs. 22,230 crore) across five critical industries which included alcoholic beverages, mobile phones, FMCG-household and personal goods, FMCG-packaged foods and tobacco products. During the decade, the tax losses incurred by the government from the alcohol industry witnessed an astronomical surge of over 508%, while the increase in tax loss from the FMCG packaged foods industry stood at a substantial 201% and from the tobacco industry the loss was pegged at 113%.

The exponential sales loss suffered by these five industries witnessed a massive 340 percent surge from Rs. 59,046 crores in 2010 to Rs. 2,60,094 crores in 2020, underscoring the severity of the illicit trade problem. FMCG packaged foods, in particular, experienced an alarming rise of nearly 600 percent, resulting in an enormous actual loss of Rs. 1,42,284 crores. Similarly, the FMCG personal goods industry faced a colossal loss of Rs. 55,530 crores in 2020, witnessing a significant increase of 270 percent from the Rs. 15,035 crores loss in 2010. These exorbitant losses both for the government and the affected industries underscore the urgent need to combat illicit trade and safeguard India's
economic interests.

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