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FICCI lauds DRI for largest seizure of smuggled cigarettes



FICCIs Committee Against Smuggling and Counterfeiting Activities Destroying the Economy (CASCADE) has applauded the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI), who in a major haul seized foreign brand cigarettes worth Rs 11.88 crore from a container at the Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT) in Navi Mumbai on June 12.

This is one of the biggest seizures since lockdown. Amid lockdown, several cases of seizures by enforcement agencies of smuggled imported cigarettes have been reported indicating a spike in cigarette smuggling over the last few months. The trend is nationwide, with seizures intercepted via road transport, in cargo and passenger luggage.

Congratulating the officers of DRI, Anil Rajput, Chairman, FICCI CASCADE said “Cigarette smuggling is a big racket across the globe and India continues to remain a hot bed for this menace. Even as the country is grappling with the coronavirus crisis, the seizures of such goods remain high”.

For developing countries, widespread smuggling has a particularly debilitating effect on efforts to improve domestic resource mobilization, by denying tax revenues, which subsequently affect government spending on healthcare, education, infrastructure.

Not only does smuggling dent government exchequer but also threatens local industries on which depends livelihood of many. In a recent study by FICCI CASCADE, it had estimated that over 16 lakh jobs were lost in India (in 5 industry sectors) in 2017-18 due to smuggling, out of which about 3.34 lakh job loss was due to smuggling of cigarettes.

Inspite of several measures, further steps are required, both in the form of policy intervention and awareness generation.

FICCI CASCADE in its recommendations to curb illicit trade to government earlier this year had suggested a reward scheme for the officers to be put in place for tobacco on the same lines like narcotics and psychotropic substances which are also destroyed after seizure.

The amount of reward in such cases could depend on a flat rate linked to the quantity of goods seized and the gravity of offence involved.

Further, modernization of the infrastructure and equipment’s being used by customs was also suggested so that foolproof methods of clearance of goods are introduced, thereby raising the capacity of Indian customs.


TASMAC sold Rs 164 cr worth of liquor in just one day




The Tamil Nadu State Marketing Corporation (TASMAC) has sold liquor worth Rs 164 crore in the state in just one day.

All liquor outlets and bars opened in the state on Monday.

According to reports from the TASMAC, Madurai zone accounted for the maximum sales of Rs 49.54 crore followed by Chennai region with sales worth Rs 42.96 crore, Salem Rs 38.72 crore, and Trichy region accounting for the sale of Rs 33.65 crore worth of liquor.

However there was no sale in the Coimbatore region as the shops are closed in the area following the higher number of Covid-19 cases. Shops in Nilgiris, Erode, Salem, Tiruppur, Karur, Namakkal, Thanjavur, Tiruvavur, Nagapattinam, and Myladuthurai remain closed as the number of cases are high.

Of the 5,338 shops in Tamil Nadu, 2,900 reopened on Monday.

The founder president of Pattali Makkal Katchi(PMK), Dr S. Ramadoss has called upon the state government to rework its policy on liquor and to enforce a total prohibition in the state for the health of the people of the state. He has also said that the claims of Chief Minister Stalin that TASMAC shops were allowed to function following the brewing of illicit liquor in the state as well as to prevent smuggling of liquor from neighbouring states.

Ramadoss has in a statement said, “Stalin should work his way to enforce total prohibition in the state of Tamil Nadu for the sake of the health of the people of the state, both mental and physical.”

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Sensex, Nifty climb new record highs




The key Indian equity indices continued their record run on Tuesday.

The BSE Sensex touched a fresh high of 52,836.31 and the Nifty50 on the National Stock Exchange hit an all-time high of 15,889.60 points.

Healthy buying was witnessed in banking and realty stocks.

Around 9.40 a.m., Sensex was trading at 52,813.83, higher by 262.3 points or 0.50 per cent from its previous close of 52,551.53 points.

It opened at 52,751.83 and has touched an intra-day low of 52,671.29 points.

The Nifty50 on the National Stock Exchange was at 15,875.05, higher by 63.20 points or 0.4 per cent from its previous close.

The top gainers on the Sensex were Asian Paints, IndusInd Bank and Tata Steel, while the losers were Dr Reddy’s Laboratories, SBI, Titan Company and L&T.

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Fuel price hike paused: Petrol, diesel prices unchanged




The Oil marketing companies paused the hike in fuel prices on Tuesday providing respite to people already burdened with all time high petrol and diesel retail rates.

Accordingly, the price of petrol continues to remain at Rs 96.41 per litre and diesel at Rs 87.28 per litre in Delhi.

OMCs had raised the price of the two petroleum products on Monday to take retail levels at new highs across the country.

In the city of Mumbai, where petrol prices crossed Rs 100 mark for the first time ever on May 29, the fuel price reached new high of Rs 102.58 per litre on Monday. Diesel price also increased to reach Rs 94.70 a litre, the highest among metros. The price levels remain unchanged on Tuesday.

Across the country as well petrol and diesel price rise was paused on Tuesday but its retail prices varied depending on the level of local taxes in different states.

Petrol prices in three other metros apart from Mumbai has also already reached closer to Rs 100 per litre mark and OMC officials said that if international oil prices continue to firm up, this mark could also be breached in other places by month end.

With Tuesday’s price pause, fuel prices have now increased on 24 days and remained unchanged on 22 days since May 1. The 22 increases hasve taken the petrol prices up by Rs 6.01 per litre in Delhi. Similarly, diesel has increased by Rs 6.55 per litre in the national capital.

With global crude prices also rising on a pick up demand and depleting inventories of world’s largest fuel guzzler – the US, retail prices of fuel in India are expected to firm up further in coming days. The benchmark Brent crude is currently close to $74 on ICE or Intercontinental Exchange.

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