Tussle over Basmati

Tussle over Basmati


(GS PAPER-3, International Agreements Related to IPRs

SOURCE- Indian Express)


  • India is the world’s largest exporter of basmati rice. Recently India has applied for the status of protected geographical indication (PGI) from the European Union’s Council on Quality Schemes for Agricultural Products and Foodstuffs. This status would give prime sole ownership of the basmati title in the EU.

What’s the issue of tussle:

  • Pakistan, which is the only main other basmati rice exporter in the world, is opposing this move as it would severely impact its own exports, especially as the EU is a prime market for its basmati.
  • Pakistan has enacted the Geographical Indications (Registration and Protection) Act in March 2020, which gives the country the right to oppose Indian application for registration of exclusive rights of Basmati rice.
  • While India has stated that Basmati is an Indian-origin product in its application, published in the EU’s official journal on September 11.
  • As per the EU’s official journal, any country can oppose the application for registration of a name pursuant to Article 50(2) (a) of Regulations (EU) of the European Parliament and of the Council on quality schemes for any agricultural products or any foodstuffs within three months from the date of its publication.


  • In May 2010, GI status was given to basmati grown which was grown in Punjab, Haryana, Delhi, Himachal Pradesh, Uttrakhand, and parts of western Uttar Pradesh and Jammu & Kashmir.

About GI tag:

  • A GI tag is primarily an agricultural, natural or a manufactured product originating from a definite geographical territory.
  • Tag conveys an assurance of quality and distinctiveness, which is essentially attributable to the place of its origin.


  • Once the GI protection is given, no other producer can misuse the name to the market of any similar products. It also provides comfort to customers about the authenticity and assurity of that product.

Who is a registered proprietor of a geographical indication:

  • Any association or a group of persons, producers, organization, or authority established under the law can be a registered proprietor.
  • Their name should be mentioned in the Register of Geographical Indication as registered proprietor for the Geographical Indication applied for.


  • The registration of it is valid for a period of 10 years.
  • Renewal can be performed from time to time for a further period of 10 years each.

Regulatory body:

  • Geographical Indications are mentioned as a component of intellectual property rights (IPRs) under the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property. It is also governed by the World Trade Organisation’s (WTO’s) Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS).

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