The menace of illicit trade will be dealt with in a systematic manner with concerted efforts by central and state enforcement agencies along with the paramilitary forces, said Debajyoti Dutta, Secretary, Food and Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs, Assam.
"The criminals who are indulging in smuggling and counterfeiting activities are promoting crime and economic instability and the consumers are bearing the brunt of it. It is important that we instil pride for Indian brands and goods amongst the consumers. This will play a pivotal role in putting counterfeit and smuggled products out of the market," he added.
Dutta was 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).
Pabitra Khaund, Secretary, Department of Industries & Commerce, Government of Assam, said that the Prime Minister's call for 'Vocal for local' will be a potent tool in the fight against counterfeiting and smuggling. It will create a conducive environment for the economy of the state and play a major role in strengthening India.
He added that the government of Assam has launched several schemes in this direction, which has immensely benefited local artisans and small enterprises.
G.M. Kamei, Commissioner, Commissionerate of Customs, northeastern region, highlighted the role of Customs in addressing this menace in the northeastern region. He said, "The custom officers are working in close coordination with DRI, Assam Rifles and State Police to make the task of a smuggler a difficult one". The commissioner shared that during the Covid period they conducted 710 seizures of goods worth Rs. 110 cr.
Congratulating the Assam government and the enforcement agencies, Anil Rajput, Chairman, Ficci CASCADE said, "The enforcement officials have relentlessly pursued the smugglers and counterfeiters in the northeastern region and over the last few months seized contraband and illicit cigarettes, liquor, drugs, currency and consumer goods.".