The government of Pakistan has given approval for the Geographical Indication (GI) registration of 10 agro and non-agro items.
The process of the registration has started after the approval last month. Pakistan enacted the Geographical Indication Act 2020 in March to ensure the protection of the country’s products. Basmati rice was registered on January 21, 2021, and the process of giving GI protection to Pink Rock Salt started on February 22, 2021.
At least 10 products which the Ministry of Commerce has proposed for GI registration include Chaunsa Mango, Sindhri Mango, Kinnow, Hunza Ruby, Swat Emerald, Kashmir Tourmaline, Skardu Topaz, Skardu Aquamarine, Peridot Stone, and Peridot Valley.
Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) and Pakistan Mineral Development Corporation (PMDC) has been engaged in registering the products.
Once the public bodies are authorized and notified as registrants, they will prepare the Book of Specification and apply for the registration of Geographical Indication (GI)-bearing products with the Intellectual Property Organization Pakistan.
The members of the Cabinet appreciated the step of protecting the national products in the international market but they also expressed their concern that the job should have been done much earlier and the delay was due to the bureaucratic lethargic attitude.
It was also pointed out in the cabinet meeting that despite the fact, several trade officers were working in Pakistani missions in different countries but they never identified the threat posed by India to Pakistan’s Basmati rice.
What is Geographical Indication
A Geographical Indication (GI) is a sign, used on a product that has a specific geographical origin. Here, a sign must identify a product as originating in a given place. The qualities, characteristics of the product should also be due to the place of origin. As the qualities depend on the geographical place of production, there is a clear link between the product and its original place of production.