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Authentication Forum targeting counterfeiting launched by Mr BK Prasad

Mr-B-K-Prasad-IAS

In a strong move against counterfeiting and enabling the “Make-Sure-India” movement in the country, India’s first two-day conference authentication conference cum exhibition – The Authentication Forum 2017 opens today at The Taj Mahal Hotel, Man Singh Road, New Delhi. This forum is organised by Authentication Solutions Providers Association (ASPA) and Messe Frankfurt India (MFI) jointly.

A high-profile panel of experts including government authorities and technology specialists have come together in New Delhi to mark the launch of this important platform which was inaugurated by Mr.  B K Prasad (IAS), Member – Secretary, National Commission for Denotified, Nomadic & Semi-Nomadic Tribes, Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment along-with Mr. P. V. Rama Sastry, Joint Secretary – Department of Consumer Affairs, Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution, Govt. of India, and Mr Chandrashekhar Ranga, Dy Drugs Controller (India), Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation.

At the occasion, Mr. B K Prasad (IAS), Member – Secretary, National Commission for Denotified, Nomadic &  Semi-Nomadic Tribes, Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment said: “I am happy that the industry has come together to deliberate on this important issue. This is a major concern which affects industries, government and the public at large and I am happy to be here at the Authentication Forum which can bring forward implementable solutions.”

Mr. P. V. Rama Sastry, Joint Secretary – Department of Consumer Affairs, Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution, Govt. of India said: “Even as industry revenues take a major hit by counterfeits, the biggest loss is to the consumer. All of us need to work together to address this growing concern and the panel discussion with various cross-sector stakeholders at this important forum will serve this purpose.”

Eminent experts including, Mr. Arvind Gupta, National President (Convener) – IT Cell, Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP), Mr. Anil Rajput, Senior Chair – Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry – Committee Against Smuggling and Counterfeiting Activities Destroying the Economy (FICCI CASCADE) & Vice President – Corporate Affairs, ITC Ltd, Mr. Rama Shankar Pandey, Co-Chairman, Consumer Affairs & Anti – Counterfeit Committee, Automotive Component Manufacturers’ Association of India (ACMA) & Managing Director, Hella India, Mr. Vivek Padgaonkar, Director – Project & Policy, Organization of Pharmaceutical Producers of India (OPPI), Mr. Pradeep Shroff, Noted Anti-Counterfeiting Expert, Author, Former President, ASPA & Former Managing Director – PRS Permacel Pvt. Ltd and many more shared their insight on this vital issues aimed at mitigating counterfeiting concerns.

At the occasion, Mr. U.K. Gupta, President, ASPA, said, “Our Governments seems committed to fight against black money and terrorism and we welcome the initiative of Government of India and the campaign “Made in India”. Today, “Made in India” product have great opportunity in India and overseas market. However, with the increase of counterfeiting in various sectors, there is a constant need to ensure that these “Made in India” label product are of highest quality, genuine and secured till its deliver to the end consumer. We offer the various authentication solutions which will ensure that “Made in India” label product are of highest quality and can be easily identified as genuine products by brand owners, Government authorities and consumer by large with the help of IT and digital solutions such as mobile app, SMS and web based applications. This summit will have positive step on our existing Honourable Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s dream country campaign “Make in India” & ASPA’s campaign “Make Sure India”.

Mr. Nakul Pasricha, Vice-President, ASPA, said, “The India industries are badly affected and the high menace of counterfeit is not only bothering Government, Brand Owners but also have high life threat to the end consumer. According to sources the impact in various sectors like: – FMCG Packaged Goods loss to the industries was 20,378 crores in year 2011-12 have increased to 21,957 crores in 2013-14 which is the growth of 7 %. In FMCG Personal Goods loss to the industries was 15035 crores in year 2011-12 have increased to 19,243 crores in 2013-14 which is the growth of 28%. In Mobile Phone Industry the loss was 9,042 crores in years 2011-12 have increased to 19,066 crores in 2013-14 which is the growth of 111 %. In Alcoholic Beverages Industry the loss was 5,626 crores in year 2011-12 have increased to 14,140 crores in 2013-14 which is the growth of 151%. In Tobacco Industry the loss was 8,965 crores in year 2011-12 have increased to 13,130 crores in 2013-14 which is the growth of 46 %. In Auto Components Industry the loss was 9,198 crores in year 2011-12 have increased to 10,501 crores in 2013-14 which is the growth of 14 %. In Computer Hardware Industry the loss was 4,725 crores in year 2011-12 have increased to 7,344 crores in 2013-14 which is the growth of 55 %. Overall the loss to the above mention industry was 72,969 crores in year 2011-12 have increased to 105,381 crores in 2013-14 which is the growth of 44%.  Similarly the above mentioned industries the India Government incuse the loss of 26,190 crores in year 2011-12 have increased to 39,239 crores in 2013-14 which is the growth of  49.8% in two years. The matter is so serious that if no immediate measures are taken than counterfeit market size will in next 5 years will grow to beyond imagination and will be a very substantial loss to the Indian Government, Industry and may impact the health of the consumers as well as their belief in “Made in India Products”.

Mr Arun agarwal, General Secretary, ASPA said, “Our industry can help Government in plugging these loopholes. A brand owner that employs an authentication solution is likely to increase his business by cutting down the counterfeiter’s share. This increased business will consequently bring in in more revenue to the exchequer in form of higher collection of taxes and duties. It is a well-known fact that money earned from counterfeiting is often used to fund transnational criminal activities. Therefore, reduction in counterfeiting will lead to curtailment of such criminal activities also. Plugging counterfeiting can help Government in increased tax revenue approximately INR 26,190 crore which is currently goes to counterfeiters and to black economy. There are proven studies that adoption of authentication solutions can help curb this menace, minimize black money as well as increasing tax revenue. “For example, the most successful case study is of usage of authentication solutions by various State Excise Department’s which provides them an authentic tool to differentiate illicit liquor and helps in fighting against counterfeiting. In India, more than 22 States are already using approximately 2000 crores security hologram (tax stamps) on liquor bottles per annum. The usage of authentication solutions in these States like Tamilnadu, Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Puducherry, Chhattisgarh etc. etc. has not only minimized the tragedies due to spurious liquor but have also substantially increased the excise revenue collection by more than 15-20 percent on year to year basis”.

At the occasion, A K Datta, packaging expert and former head, packaging at Jubilant Life Services, said: ‘Of the 800 billion USD global pharmaceutical industry, approximately 10 percent is believed to be counterfeit.’ Sumantra Mukherjee, director, Forensics Practice at KPMG, pointed out that the FMCG market in India was valued at 49 billion USD in India in 2016 and is expected to reach 104 billion USD by 2020. Addressing the concerns of FMCG counterfeiting, he said: ‘Counterfeit products are growing at a staggering rate of 44 percent, as opposed to 30 percent a couple of years back.’ The increase, he said, was due to online business where it is easy for counterfeiters to sell fake products and dupe customers. It is, therefore, important to locate the real source of the product before making a purchase. Brands lose up to 20 per cent of market share and companies face roughly 10 per cent losses on revenue and profit due to counterfeit products in India.

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