BUSINESS

Thriving business in fake products: Assocham

Staff Reporter

KOCHI: A study conducted by the Associated Chamber of Commerce and Indusytry (Assocham) has found that there is a thriving business in fake products in the State. The study says counterfeit products across various sectors such as automotive components, pharma, herbal medicine and cosmetics have captured a market size of Rs. 15,000 crores through illegal channels by March, 2006.

The chamber estimates say fake products valued at Rs.4,000 crore were sold in vegetable oils, ghee, spices and watch components by March 31, 2006, of which a large chunk came from the sale of watch components.

The genuine manufacturers of watches suffered huge losses owing to the huge price differential.

The chamber said the laws in the State do not prove to be effective deterrents for the offenders either by way of monitory penalties, damages or criminal prosecution.

It has suggested setting up of separate economic offence courts for trying cases in this connection.

Fake food products that do not follow safety standards pose serious health hazards, says K. Thomas, a distributor of food products.

He underlines the need for stringent methods to counter the sale of fake products.

The sale of counterfeit products is not confined to high-end ones.

There are even manufacturers who attach the `Made in China' tag, as the products from China have high demand, says S. Chandran, a dealer of general consumer items.

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