Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking his personal intervention to not allow Geographical Indication (GI) tagging of Basmati to Madhya Pradesh, in the larger interest of Punjab and other states which are already Basmati GI tagged.
Apart from Punjab, other states which already have GI tagging for Basmati are Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Delhi, Western UP, and select districts of Jammu and Kashmir.
Noting that All India Rice Exporters Association is also vigorously opposed to considering any claim of MP for GI tag for Basmati, raising concerns about its serious negative impact on Indian export potential, the Chief Minister noted that India exported Basmati to the tune of Rs. 33,000 crore every year, but any dilution in the 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, 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 GI tagging of MP Basmati would negatively impact the state’s agriculture and also India’s Basmati exports. Madhya Pradesh has sought the inclusion of its 13 districts for GI tagging for Basmati.
Urging PM Modi to direct the concerned authorities not to disturb the status quo in this matter, the Chief Minister said that this was essential for safeguarding the interests of farmers and Basmati exporters of India.