Punjab’s Chief Minister Amrinder Singh has opposed the MP government’s push for a GI tag for the long-grained rice cultivated in 13 districts of the state. The Shivraj Singh Chouhan government sharply criticised this in a series of tweets on Wednesday, saying GI-tagging would boost exports and that the state has produced basmati for a long time.
GI tag is given to products that have specific qualities because of the place of their origin. Similar products produced elsewhere are not allowed to use the name. Examples of GI-tagged Indian products are Darjeeling tea, Salem fabric, Chanderi sarees and Mysore silk.
Punjab’s chief minister had written to the PMO on Aug 5 saying India exports basmati worth Rs 33,000 crore a year, and any dilution in registration of Indian basmati may give advantage to Pakistan.
The Madhya Pradesh chief minister said that GI tagging is a matter of pride for farmers of Madhya Pradesh and recognition of their hard work over the years. “It should not be made into a Punjab vs Madhya Pradesh tussle. GI tagging allotment will provide stability to basmati prices in international markets and boost our exports,” said Chauhan on the microblogging platform.
The chief minister added that the case of Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) with Pakistan has no relationship with claims of Madhya Pradesh as it is under the GI Act of India and is not linked to Inter-country claims of basmati rice.
He argued that the Government of India has been supplying breeder seeds of basmati rice to Madhya Pradesh since 1999 and exporters from Punjab and Haryana are procuring basmati rice from the state.
“Madhya Pradesh has a written recorded history since 1908 of basmati production in 13 districts. Records of supplying seeds to farmers in Madhya Pradesh in the year 1944 is recorded in the records of Scindia State,” said Chouhan. The Indian Institute of Rice Research, Hyderabad has recorded production of basmati rice in their production-oriented survey report since the last 25 years, he added.
Basmati exporters from Punjab and Haryana are procuring basmati rice from MadhyaPradesh. “This is also supported by Government of India data of export from Mandideep, Madhya Pradesh,” tweeted Chouhan.
Apart from Punjab, other states which already have GI tagging for Basmati are Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Delhi, Western UP, and select districts of Jammu and Kashmir.
The Punjab chief minister in his letter to the PM had said that Madhya Pradesh had earlier attempted to get the GI tag for basmati cultivation in 2017-18. "However, Registrar of Geographical Indications (RGI), constituted under the geographical indications of goods (Registrations and Protection) Act 1999, rejected the demand of Madhya Pradesh after investigating the matter," he said in a press statement.
The Intellectual Property Appellate Board, Government of India, had also discarded the claim of Madhya Pradesh in this regard, said Singh. Later, Madhya Pradesh challenged these decisions in Madras High Court, but did not get any relief. Further, to look into the claim of Madhya Pradesh to get GI tag for its basmati, the Government of India had also constituted a committee of eminent agricultural scientists, which after thorough deliberations, had also rejected the state’s claim, Singh pointed out.
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2 Comments on this Story
Yash Pal162 days ago
Maybe, MP also has an equal claim.
Dinesh Jain163 days ago
Sir, Western UP is not a state but UP is a state.