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Online markets are source of counterfeit products, say experts

Say the genuineness of the products supplied by the online players has to be verified

BS Reporter 

Questioning the genuineness of the products sold by the online retailers, apex industry chamber Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and industry (FICCI) has sought scrutiny of these items to check counterfeiting.

"Online markets are also source of distributing smuggling and counterfeiting products. The genuineness of the products supplied by the online players has to be verified. One cannot deny that they do not have counterfeit products," Deep Chand, Advisor, FICCI CASCADE (Committee Against Smuggling and Counterfeiting Activities Destroying Economy) told media persons on the sidelines of a seminar on Curbing Counterfeiting and Smuggling - An Imperative for Indian Economy, here.

He stressed on the enforcement of the regulations formulated to check counterfeiting and smuggling. The enforcement of the regulations is not to the extent as it should be.

The government has to set its priority so that the people doing the counterfeiting business are taken care of, he added. Kalpana Reddy, first secretary for Intellectual Property, US patents and trademarks office, embassy of the United States, said that there is potential to grow because of the online market places.

According to a FICCI study on 'Socio-economic Impact of Counterfeiting, Smuggling and Tax Evasion' in seven key industry sectors, the estimated annual tax loss to the government in the year 2012 was Rs 26,190 crore. The study further estimates an annual sales loss to industry at a whopping Rs one lakh crore.

The key sectors included in the study were auto components, alcohol, computer hardware, FMCG (personal goods), FMCG (packaged goods), mobile phones and tobacco. The highest loss to industry in terms of revenue is from FMCG (packaged goods), pegged at Rs 20,378 crore (23.4 per cent), FMCG (personal goods) at Rs 15,035 crore (25.9 per cent), auto components at Rs 9,198 crore (29.6 per cent), mobile phones at Rs 9,042 crore (20.8 per cent ) and tobacco at Rs 8,965 crore (15.7 per cent).

First Published: Sun, November 30 2014. 20:20 IST