Millers oppose misuse of basmati tag in Rajasthan

By | June 27, 2016

Seeking a ban on the illegal use of ‘basmati’ by rice millers of Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, the Punjab Basmati Rice Millers’ Association has lodged a complaint to the Assistant Registrar of Trademarks and Geographical Indication Registry, Chennai.
They have further appealed the authorities concerned to investigate and verify the records of exporters who buy this rice.
The affected rice millers of the state had last month complained to the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) saying that the Intellectual Property Appellate Board (IPAB) had not given the geographical indication (GI) tag to basmati in these states.
The APEDA had, however, asked the millers to pursue their case with the Trademarks and Geographical Indication Registry.
Notably, the rice millers here are in a fix over falling prices of basmati and have suffered huge losses in the past.
Ashish Kathuria, general secretary of the association, said, “The IPAB has given the GI tag to basmati in Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, western UP, Uttarakhand and two districts of J and Kashmir. MP and Rajasthan do not have the GI recognition for basmati.
Nevertheless, rice millers in these states are using GI of basmati on their bills, letter heads, websites, advertisements, web advertisements and SH code in the international market,” he added.
“Almost every merchant and retailer is selling the products of rice manufactured by the millers of Rajasthan and MP mentioning the basmati GI tag. This is clear case of infringement of registered GI,” he pointed out.
The association has even attached a list of some rice millers, sellers and exporters who are allegedly violating the norms. “With this illegal use of the GI tag, the millers and farmers of Punjab and Haryana have suffered an estimated loss of Rs 2,500 crore which should be levied on these culprits,” he said.
Geographical Indication tag
The geographical indication (GI) is a sign that identifies a product as originating from a particular place which gives that product a special quality or reputation or other characteristic, like Darjeeling (tea).