West Bengal one of the top states plagued by Currency Counterfeiting - ASPA releases State of Counterfeiting in India Report 2020 - Songoti | English

West Bengal one of the top states plagued by Currency Counterfeiting - ASPA releases State of Counterfeiting in India Report 2020

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West Bengal – The Authentication Solutions Providers’ Association (ASPA), a self-regulated industry body of Anti-Counterfeiting and Traceability Solutions providers unveil the first edition of its report “The State of Counterfeiting In India Report 2020”.The report highlights the trends of counterfeiting incidents reported in India. According to the report, counterfeiting incidents have risen steadily in the last few years and in 2019 these haveincreased by24% as compared to 2018. Data reflects thatWest Bengal is one of the top states menaced by counterfeiting with majority cases being reported in Currency. West Bengal, UP, Bihar, Rajasthan & Madhya Pradesh are the top five states with the highest counterfeit incident reported in the last two years. West Bengal ranked second followed by Uttar Pradesh with the highest currency counterfeit incidents reported in the last two years.

Counterfeiting is a universal issue that no country in the world can afford to overlook. Globally, it now stands at 3.3% of global trade (according to OECD report) and is impacting the social and economic development of countries. Even in the Covid-19 crisis, we are observing that the criminals are taking advantage of the high market demand for personal protection and hygiene products and providing fake and sub-standard products which are a direct threat to our paramedical professionals, security volunteers, and society at large.
Key findings of the report:
-       The number of counterfeit incidents in India increased by 24% between 2018 to 2019.
-       The top 10 sectors with the highest number of counterfeit cases reported include Currency, FMCG, Alcohol, Pharma, Documents, Agriculture, Infrastructure, Automotive, Tobacco, Lifestyle& Apparel.  Amongst these Currency, Alcohol & FMCG continue to be the top three sectors with the highest counterfeit incidents in the last two years. Among these, FMCG sector is most vulnerable as counterfeit incidents in the sector increased by 63% between 2018 (79) to 2019 (129).
-       States including Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal, Punjab, Jharkhand, Delhi, Gujarat, and Uttarakhandare amongst top ten States whichneed urgent attention to frame anti-counterfeiting policy mechanism. UP continues at the top followed by Bihar, Rajasthan and together these three States represent almost 45% of the total counterfeit incidents reported in India in the last two years.
-       Counterfeiting activities are not limited to high-end luxury items. Common day to day items including cumin seeds, mustard cooking oil, ghee, hair oil, soaps, baby care vaccines and, medicines are increasingly reported counterfeited by criminals.
-       A spike in cases being reported about fake hand sanitizers, masks, and PPE kits has been observed during the COVID crisis. Between February to April 2020, more than 150+ cases of counterfeit incidents had been reported including Fake PPE kits, sanitizers, and masks.

Nakul Pasricha, President, ASPA, said, “The figures call for immediate action. Counterfeit products across various sectors in India are causing over INR 1 trillion (1 lakh crore) every year to the economy and the progress to date is simply not good enough to fight this crime of the 21st century. There is a need for an ongoing focus on building and nurturing authentication eco-systems in the country and as an industry association, we are committed to that. The involvement and active participation of all stakeholders is extremely crucial in this, as a lot of awareness is required at the industry, consumer, and government level.The authentication environment will support the Government’s “make in India” initiative and its image at a global level, where trust is becoming an especially important factor. We need to ensure that the “Make in India'' products are genuine, safe, and secure until they are delivered to the end consumer across the globe. ASPA is building up innovative tools to help policymakers on the need for action and legislation in fighting counterfeiting and the report is one such tool”.

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