Pak to challenge India's application for exclusive GI tag to Basmati rice in EU

Pakistan has decided to file its opposition in the European Union in response to India’s application for an exclusive Geographical Indications (GI) tag to Basmati rice in the 27-member bloc, a media report said on Tuesday.

This was decided during a meeting chaired by Adviser to the Prime Minister on Commerce Razak Dawood on Monday.

The meeting was attended by Secretary Commerce, Chairman, Intellectual Pro­perty Organisation (IPO-Pakistan), representatives of Rice Exporters Asso­ciation of Pakistan (REAP), and the legal fraternity, the Dawn newspaper reported.

During the meeting, REAP representatives were of the view that Pakistan was a major grower and producer of Basmati rice and India’s application for exclusivity is unjustified, it said.

India has said that it is an Indian-origin product in its application, published in the EU’s official journal on September 11.

Dawood said that Pakistan will vehemently oppose India’s application in the European Union and restrain New Delhi from obtaining an exclusive GI tag of Basmati rice.

He supported the concerns of REAP and relevant stakeholders and ensured that their claim for Basmati rice as GI will be protected, the report said. Pakistan enacted the Geographical Indications (Registration and Protection) Act in March this year, which gives it the right to oppose Indian application for registration of Basmati rice’s exclusive rights.