The Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) has argued that India may loss the aroma of its basmati rice in other countries especially in Pakistan if it does not get GI (Geographical Indicator) tag for its iconic basmati rice.

Litigation is going on in Pakistan court between India and Pakistan over the GI tag. Basmati rice grower in Pakistan has reportedly that they have GI tag partially registered in their country.

India has been involved in a court case with Andhra Pradesh government against APEDA’s move for not including the state while registering the GI tag for iconic basmati.

Argumented discussion is ongoing between APEDA and Intellectual Property Appellate Board (IPAB) as IPAB has taken a long time and was threatening to weaken the case, as close to 700 to 800 proceedings are pending across various countries. APEDA told IPAB that the delay in the proceedings was hampering the country’s prospects of protecting the rice variety as Pakistan has moved the GI dispute tribunal against granting of GI tag to Basmati rice, arguing that those historical geographies of Basmati rice producing areas are now part of Pakistan. When the case came to IPAB, then also APEDA requested for an early hearing in the case as they are in a hurry to get the final order.

Also in IPAB too, Pakistan’s Basmati Growers’ Association (BGA) has appealed against granting of GI tag to Indian Basmati rice.

APEDA counsel said that they want the case in their favour as they could counter on the countries like Pakistan and other who are challenging India for their rice.

After hearing the APEDA, Pakistan Basmati Growers Association, Madhya Pradesh government, the farmers and a new organization, the IPAB bench of Justice KN Basha, chairman and Sanjeev Kumar Chaswal, technical member, who want the case in their favour has postponed the case for last week of February.

New Darpan Social Welfare Society, Bhopal has filed an application to include them also as a part of further proceeding.

The Lahore-based BGA has said that every  rice is not a basmati. Basmati has certain geographical factors for its growth. The rice grown in certain areas of Punjab in Pakistan, where the rice kernels are grown on conventional rice lands and they interact with the environment, atmosphere, soil and climate to yield exquisite rice can be called Basmati in the true sense. Basmati is a name given to slender, aromatic and long grain rice variety.BGA has also opposed the to grant GI tag to India.

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