Creating public awareness can help counter problem of counterfeiting and smuggling: Ashok Patil

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Prof (Dr) Ashok R. Patil, Chair Professor and Chair on Consumer Law & Practice (Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Government of India), National Law School of India University said, “Consumers have the right to be informed about the purity, safety, quality of the product, right to seek redressal against unfair trade practice and the right to be aware.”

He further added that creating public awareness, increasing surveillance, and coordination amongst industry, consumers, NGOs, government, and media can help counter the problem of counterfeiting and smuggling effectively.

Speaking at the ‘In Conversation Series’ organised by FICCI’s Committee Against Smuggling and Counterfeiting Activities Destroying the Economy (CASCADE), Prof Dr Patil informed that “The Central Consumer Protection Authority will change the scenario in India with its Suo moto & investigative powers which takes care of all the rights of the consumers with regards to unfair trade practices, false and misleading advertisements.”

P.K. Malhotra, Former Secretary, Ministry of Law and Justice, Government of India and Think Tank Member, FICCI CASCADE said, “Counterfeit and smuggled goods are not only a threat to the country’s economy, but also bring serious harm to the consumers. Illicit products have infiltrated everyday avenues of commerce, making their way into supply chains, posing threat to individuals’ health and safety.”

“While the Consumer Protection Act is a stepping-stone to regulate matters involving violation & enforcement of consumer rights, the consumers must also act responsibly & cautiously while making any purchase,” he added.

Hem Kumar Pande, Former Secretary, Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution and Think Tank Member, FICCI CASCADE said, “Consumer awareness is of paramount importance and consumers should know their rights and duties. They need to stand united against the menace of counterfeit and smuggled goods.”

Pande emphasised on having a consumer movement in India against such serious crimes that are not only risking consumer’s health and safety but are also damaging the economy of the country. He also stressed on having a dynamic policy and legal framework, quick consumer grievance redressal, mediation centres and aggressive campaigning to protect consumers against the menace of illicit trade.

FICCI CASCADE has been over the years working closely with government, industry, enforcement officials, legal fraternity, consumer organisations and the youth to create awareness on the adverse impact of the problem of counterfeiting and smuggling. FICCI CASCADE, in pursuance of its agenda, has been organizing series multi-stakeholder dialogues to tackle this adversary and spread awareness about the socio-economic impact of counterfeiting and smuggling.

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