Ranjan Prakash Thakur, Principal Secretary, Department of Industries and Commerce, Jammu and Kashmir government, said on Friday that illicit trade is a grave concern, which undermines the nation’s economy , affects the health of the citizens and needs to be addressed on an urgent basis.
Addressing a webinar on ‘Policies and Strategies to Prevent Counterfeiting and Smuggling’ organised by FICCI’s Committee Against Smuggling and Counterfeiting Activities Destroying the Economy (CASCADE), Thakur said that adequate priority needs to be placed across the government departments in J&K, be it enforcement, training, or consumer awareness, while addressing the issue.
Mohd Akbar, Joint Director, Department of Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs, J&K government, said, “Large scale consumer awareness through the help of print and electronic media needs to be created which will sensitise the public on this menace.”
Irfana Ahmed, Deputy Drug Controller, Jammu and Kashmir, while sharing the initiatives of the department to address this issue, stated that in the last few years, almost 23 drugs were found to be spurious in the UT and 70-80 per cent cases were prosecuted.
Laeeq Ahmad, Deputy Director (Prosecution), Crime Headquarters, Jammu & Kashmir Police, said, “In 2020, we seized around 3,87,000 intoxicated capsules, fake injections and syrups. In the year 2018, 2019 and 2020, 15, 24 and 26 cases were registered under the copyright act, respectively, at various police stations of Jammu and Kashmir.”
Anil Rajput, Chairman, FICCI CASCADE, said, “Illicit products have infiltrated everyday avenues of commerce, making their way into supply chains and consumers’ homes, thereby threatening manufacturers’ competitiveness, undermining consumer confidence and posing a threat to individuals’ health and safety.”
Applauding the efforts of the enforcement authorities, he said, “While smugglers and counterfeiters are exploiting the current situation by supplying illicit alternative of products, the alert enforcement authorities in J&K have uncovered and arrested people engaged in illicit trade of liquor, cigarettes, currency, drugs, sanitisers and much more.”