Strong Indian delegation present at 'Incredible India 2003' show in Malaysia

NEW DELHI: Malaysia must tackle its 'rampant' music and video disc piracy problems with stiffer penalties and a hunt for those at the root of the illegal trade, the commerce minister Satyabrata Mookherjee said today in Kuala Lumpur where a strong Indian trade and ministerial delegation has gone as part of the 'Incredible India 2003' show.

"I think it is to a great extent rampant here," the minister was quoted by agencies as saying at a Malaysia-India business forum in Kuala Lumpur. According to him, "Legal steps can be taken to curb this piracy. They should trace out the people who are really responsible for it."

Those part of the Indian delegation include information and broadcast minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, Confederation of Indian Industrys Tarun Das and minister of textiles S Hussain.

Malaysian authorities regularly conduct high-profile crackdowns on sellers of illegal music and movie discs in malls and night markets, only for them to pop up again soon after, agency reports said. Bollywood music and films are hugely popular among Malaysia's 25 million population and not just the eight percent who are of ethnic Indian origin.

Washington has said that while Malaysia was doing more than many Asian nations to fight piracy, its policy of price controls on CDs and DVDs was not a panacea, the reports from Kuala Lumpur said, adding ,William Lash, US assistant secretary of commerce for market access and compliance had stated in July that the US trade losses due to piracy in Malaysia fell to $242 million last year from $316 million in 2001.

The highlight of the Incredible India show is the display by the Indian states of Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu, which are partner states for the show.

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