Govt suffers huge revenue loss from counterfeit goods

It is not only consumers and manufacturers that are suffering at the hands of counterfeit products and brands, but the government as well.

“It is a worldwide problem and genuine brands suffer a huge loss due to counterfeit products. Governments too have to bear a huge revenue loss,” said Sujata Tiwari, a member of the Brand Protection Committee, Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI).

“It is the government which should take a stand and regulate such wrongdoings,” she said adding, “However, enacting laws, assurances or decisions alone are not sufficient, the crux lies in implementation.”

The visiting FICCI member, who is here to promote awareness on brand protection, admitted to have received ‘good response’ from the government. Tiwari has met the director generals of the department of commerce and, the department of industrial product. She is also scheduled to meet custom department officials.

“There is a powerful racket involved and they know what they are doing. They are intelligent,” said Prakash Khanal, director, Thompson PR. From cigarettes, beverages, pharmaceuticals, information technology, films, music to electronic goods, all have in one way or the other borne the brunt of imitations.

In a bid to sensitise the business and industry community here, and to garner support to the cause, Tiwari will be making a presentation on Monday at the Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI). The response will decide what happens next and how to go about it.

“Nothing would happen overnight, however there needs to be a collective strength. If the concerned sectors move ahead as a body then they will be heard,” added she. “Manufacturers or companies cannot do anything, it is the government which should set things right.”

She also suggested fine-tuning the judiciary and legislation to control revenue losses amounting to millions of rupees. Like in some states in India, the visiting FICCI member also recommended special police force to deal with the issue of intellectual property rights.

Nepal, four years ago, passed Consumer Rights Protection Act. However, as it stands, much needs to be achieved in bringing down the indiscriminate practice of counterfeiting.