Chandigarh: Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, seeking his personal intervention to not allow Geographical Indication (GI) tagging of 13 basmati producing districts of Madhya Pradesh in the larger interest of the other basmati producing states, including Punjab.
Apart from Punjab, other states which already have GI tagging for basmati are Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Delhi, Western Uttar Pradesh and select districts of Jammu and Kashmir.
Noting that the All India Rice Exporters Association is also opposed to consider any claim of Madhya Pradesh for GI tagging for basmati, raising concerns about its serious negative impact on India’s export potential, the Chief Minister noted that India exports basmati to the tune of Rs 33,000 crore every year, but any dilution in registration of Indian basmati may give advantage to Pakistan, which also produces basmati as per GI tagging, in the international market in terms of basmati characteristics and quality parameters.
In his letter to the Prime Minister, the Chief Minister has drawn his attention to the economically and socially important issue of geographical tagging, saying that GI tagging of Madhya Pradesh basmati would negatively impact the state’s agriculture and also India’s basmati exports.
Madhya Pradesh has sought the inclusion of 13 of its districts for GI tagging for basmati.
Urging Modi to direct the authorities not to disturb the status quo in this matter, the Chief Minister said that this was essential for safeguarding the interests of the farmers and the basmati exporters of India.