New Delhi–Industry body Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) on Monday urged the government to take swift action to clamp down on the rising illicit trade in smuggled and counterfeit goods in India.

Smuggling and counterfeiting severely harms the economy of a country in multi-dimensional ways. It undermines the local industry, suppresses innovation and investment, discourages legal imports, reduces the volume of revenues collected from duties and levies by the government, fuels transnational crimes and hampers the health of citizens, FICCI said in a statement here.

The apex industry body has undertaken in-depth research on the magnitude of the problem and shared the findings with policy makers from the Ministry of Finance, Cabinet Secretariat and Prime Minister’s Office.

FICCI’s dedicated body Committee Against Smuggling and Counterfeiting Activities Destroying the Economy (CASCADE) has reported that the estimated loss to the industry in just seven industry sectors amounted to Rs 1,05,381 crore — a 44.4 per cent increase — between 2011-12 and 2013-14.

The market for contraband and smuggled goods is thriving in India and is today one of the biggest challenges faced by Indian industry, the industry chamber said. (IANS)