Basmati rice Photograph:( Reuters )
Pakistan representatives are of the view that their country is a major grower and producer of basmati rice and India’s claim for exclusivity is unjustified.
Pakistan is planning to oppose India’s claim of Geographical Indication (GI) tag to basmati rice in the European Union (EU).
A Pakistani legal team will file its formal opposition with the EU.
Pakistan representatives are of the view that their country is a major grower and producer of basmati rice and India’s claim for exclusivity is unjustified. Pakistan is hence planning to vehemently oppose India’s application in the European Union and restrain India from obtaining exclusive GI tag of basmati rice.
India submitted an application with the European Union claiming sole ownership of basmati rice in September. And Pakistan started with their planning when they got a whiff of this.
Basmati is grown in various parts of India, and New Delhi is looking for a GI tag for the variety grown in these states.
Pakistan produces 35% of the world's basmati, and India dominates 65% of the market.
India's basmati is also held at a more premium position. It is priced more than Pakistani basmati. And simply, because the rice is defined by its quality and aroma.
Starting 2017, Pakistan tried to double its basmati export -- but that has not helped its cause.
India produces 7.5 million tonnes of basmati rice, and exports around 4.5 million tonnes of it.
In 2019, India earned Rs 34,000 crore from basmati exports.
The battle for basmati is not new. New Delhi has always been possessive about its basmati.
In the 1990s, India took on an american firm that wanted a patent under the brand, and it won the case.
Basmati has always been associated with India. If Pakistan wants a GI tag for the rice, it would have to prove that basmati is grown only in Pakistan. And even the sound of it spells impossible.