As India is making its ‘mark’ on the global counterfeit map – being the largest supplier of fake medicines and highest illegal trades of cigarettes – top industry houses are joining hands to curb the menace.
According to industry players, fake products with ‘Made in India’ label and manufactured in China have been floating in the global market at an alarming rate, bringing disrepute to the Indian domestic industry and causing losses to the tune of $5 billion.
The global counterfeit industry is worth about $1.65 trillion and it is estimated to double in the next three years. As per Havoscope Global Black Market Index, the Indian share in the industry is a whopping $16.84 billion. Pakistan, on the other hand, has $6.12 billion fake goods’ market.
According to a report by India Forensic Research Foundation, the total loss to the economy annually due to crimes such as counterfeiting, commercial fraud, smuggling, drug trafficking, bank fraud, tax evasion and graft is estimated at `22,528 crore. Counterfeit books accounts for $38 million, movies for $959 million, auto parts $1.15 billion, music $17.7 million and software $2,739 million, affecting the legal stakeholders.
As per the 2005 European Union report, India was the world’s largest supplier of fake drugs – responsible for 75 per cent of counterfeit medicines globally.
P C Jha, former chairman of Central Board of Excise and Customs, said: “Enforcement of counterfeit law is a major problem in the country. Public pressure is also not there on this issue. People should understand that the spurious goods like medicines or baby food might be cheaper, but they are hazardous to health. Tax policy on certain goods like alcohol and tobacco is also a problem. The tax is very high, prompting tax evasion and incentive of counterfeiting also increases.” Waking up to the adverse effects of fake products, the Indian industry is observing June 13 as Anti-Counterfeiting Day.