In what may come as a big shock, 80% of consumers don’t even know they are using fake products, a report said. Not only that, 30% of FMCG items sold are counterfeit, according to FICCI CASCADE. “In the FMCG sector, 30% goods sold are fake and 80% consumers believe that they are using genuine products. While there is an increase in vigilance by the enforcement agencies, it must be noted that the seizures are only the tip of the iceberg in illegal trade in the country,” the report said.
The existence and operation of illicit markets such as smuggling and counterfeiting has been an enduring problem that has increased in scope and magnitude, impacting industries, government, economies and, the health and safety of the consumers.
“Moreover, smuggling operations have close links to terror organizations and criminal networks. In fact, it is today one of the biggest challenges faced by India and its industry, tarnishing the country’s image in the global arena,” the report said.
According to FICCI’s report – ‘Invisible Enemy – A Threat to Our National Interests’ – focusing on the negative impact of contraband goods on the Indian economy and businesses, the perpetrators are now switching over to cigarettes and fabric/silk yarn as they are low-risk, high-reward goods.
Counterfeiting is the second largest source of income for criminal activities such as terrorism, globally, said the report. “The total employment losses globally due to counterfeit and piracy stood at 2 to 2.6 million jobs in 2013 and is expected to rise to 4.2 to 5.4 million jobs in 2022, suggesting an approximate increase of 110%,” the report added.
The industry body which is working on addressing the issue of unlawful trade activities in India, said there’s an urgent need to increase not just awareness in consumer but also among lawmakers and enforcement agencies.