FICCI CASCADE'S MASCARADE discusses how illicit trade and smuggling fuels terrorism
The nexus between illicit trade, organized crime and terrorism, we not only protect our economy but also contribute to a safer and more peaceful world. The fight against illicit trade is not just an economic battle; it is a battle for peace, stability, and the future of our world : Minister of I&B, Anurag Thakur
Photo Credit : FICCI,
The delegates at the event with FICCI CASCADE Chairman Anil Rajput
New Delhi, September 30, 2023
In a grand ceremony, FICCI CASCADE 2023 organized MASCARADE, a movement against counterfeit and smuggling.
Former CBI Director, R&AW Chief and experts from the field discussed on countering counterfeit and smuggling and ways to curb illicit trade. The experts presented the study on how money earned from counterfeit and smuggling further fuels terrorism and illegal activities in the country.
Minister for Information & Broadcasting and Youth Affairs & Sports, Govt of India, Anurag Thakur emphasized that the surge in illicit trade is a troubling consequence of globalization which casts a shadow on our progress toward achieving a 5 trillion-dollar economy. “Illicit trade, whether conducted through activities like smuggling, counterfeiting, or tax evasion, exacts a considerable socio-economic toll. It not only hinders our advancement but also drives up expenses, pushing these crucial goals even further from our reach,” he added
He added that the nexus between illicit trade, organized crime and terrorism, we not only protect our economy but also contribute to a safer and more peaceful world. “The fight against illicit trade is not just an economic battle; it is a battle for peace, stability, and the future of our world,” he highlighted.
Thakur further said that “We have been enacting laws that not only align with our international commitments but also exhibit a progressive outlook. However, given the intricate and alarming expansion of illicit trade, it underscores the need for enhanced intergovernmental collaborations and public-private partnerships to formulate a comprehensive strategy,” he noted.
The Minister also said that illicit trade is a multi-billion-dollar business with severe economic, social, and environmental impacts, which are especially accentuated during periods of economic downturn. Illicit trade has risen steadily in recent years and the effects of illicit trade are particularly damaging for developing economies. “It is our duty to safeguard our citizens and the world from these threats. To do so, we must strengthen our law enforcement agencies, enhance international cooperation, and enact stringent measures to combat illicit trade at its roots,” he added.
Anil Rajput, Chairman of FICCI CASCADE, said, “Illicit trade has been seen mostly from the prism of loss to the exchequer. However, it has many more facets that impact our society. This unscrupulous global business has its tentacles reaching far and wide and compromises the safety and security of nations due to their sinister linkages with organized crime networks and terror financing.”
“Our Hon’ble Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, has been underscoring the need to eliminate the root cause for terror funding. A clear mandate from the highest office of the government makes it evident that India is focused in building a global momentum against terror funding by eradicating the streams of finance,” he added.
Highlighting that India is already a powerhouse and one of the world’s most dynamic consumption environments, Rajput said that we must work concertedly to ensure that illicit trade does not dent our growth trajectory. “While action is being taken to refine policy frameworks, strengthen cooperation and administer stricter enforcement, the role of our citizenry to ensure that only legal products are consumed holds great significance and to achieve this awareness will be key. For this a robust mass awareness generation strategy is imperative,” he added.
Anil Sinha, Former Director, CBI and Think Tank Member, FICCI CASCADE also shared his perspective on the impact of illicit trade and emphasized on the need to work together to fight the menace of illicit trade.
Hon'ble Justice KV Viswanathan, Judge, Supreme Court of India, during the Valedictory Address said, “One suggestion for policymakers to make counterfeiting less attractive is they should adopt suitable tax measures for genuine products. If you make counterfeiting less attractive in terms of price by having a rational tax structure, it could be a serious disincentive for them to resort to this. We need to ensure that all stakeholders come together to tackle this issue. Judiciary can come in to play a stellar role but it can only be one of the components.”
FICCI CASCADE also awarded police officers of various states, those from customs and DRI and Indian Coast Guard for their exemplary work on countering illicit trade and smuggling.
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