Pakistan got the Geographical Indicator (GI) tag for its Basmati, which will a local registry for the particular strain of rice and making a case in the international market.
- Pakistan fought a case in the 27-member European Union against India’s move to get Basmati rice registered as its product.
- Laws require that before applying for registration of any product in the international market it has to be protected under the geographical indication laws of that country.
- A GI tag is a sign used on products that have a specific geographical origin and possess origin-based qualities and reputation in the region. GI tag would strengthen Pakistan’s case in the EU.
- The issue of protecting Basmati rice as a product of Pakistan came to the forefront after India submitted an application to the European Union claiming sole ownership of the commodity in September last year.
- In its application, India claimed that “Basmati” is special long grain aromatic rice grown and produced in a particular geographical region of the subcontinent.
- After highlighting the brief history of Basmati rice, India also claimed that the region is a part of northern India, below the foothills of the Himalayas forming part of the Indo-Gangetic plain.
- The Indian claim to the EU was challenged in December and the main argument by Pakistan was that Basmati rice was a joint product of India and Pakistan.
- Pakistan exported 500,000-700,000 tonnes of Basmati rice annually to different parts of the world out of which 200,000 tonnes to 250,000 tonnes is being shipped to EU countries.