Pakistan to oppose India's claim on exclusivity over basmati rice in EU

Basmati is currently recognised as a product of both Pakistan and India, but India wants to claim exclusivity over the product

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Adviser to Prime Minister on Commerce Abdul Razak Dawood. — APP/Files

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan is set to give a befitting reply to India’s claim on a Geographical Indication (GI) tag for basmati rice in the European Union (EU) market. 

The decision was taken on Monday during a meeting with Adviser to Prime Minister on Commerce Abdul Razak Dawood in the chair.

The Secretary Commerce; Chairman, Intellectual Property Organization (IPO-Pakistan); representatives of Rice Exporters Association of Pakistan (REAP); and the legal fraternity attended the meeting, according to a press release.

During the meeting, REAP representatives were of the view that Pakistan is a major grower and producer of basmati rice and India’s claim for exclusivity is therefore unjustified.

Dawood categorically stated that Pakistan will vehemently oppose India’s application in the EU and restrain New Delhi from obtaining an exclusive GI tag for basmati rice.

The adviser supported the concerns of REAP and relevant stakeholders and ensured that their claim over basmati rice will be protected.

It is pertinent to mention that India has submitted an application in the EU claiming sole ownership of basmati rice, falsely misrepresenting its exclusivity.

According to Gulf News, basmati is currently recognised as a product of both Pakistan and India under the European Regulation 2006.

Meanwhile, Pakistan, after a delay of nearly 18 years, only recently enacted the Geographical Indications (Registration and Protection) Act in March 2020, Pakistan Today reported.

According to the EU’s official journal, any country can oppose the application for registration of a name pursuant to Article 50(2) (a) of Regulation (EU) No 1151/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council on quality schemes for agricultural products and foodstuffs within three months from the date of publication.