UNISAME URGES AUTHORITIES TO ACT FAST IN BASMATI MATTERS & PURSUE TO GET BEST COURT DECISIONS BY EFFECTIVE ADVOCACY
The Union of Small and Medium Enterprises (UNISAME) has invited the attention of the major basmati rice stakeholders namely the Rice Exporters Association of Pakistan (REAP), the Basmati Growers Association, the Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) and the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Authority (SMEDA) to promptly pursue matters relating to basmati rice geographical indications (GI) and trademark in light of the Delhi High Court orders setting aside pretentious restrictions imposed by the Indian government.
President UNISAME Zulfikar Thaver said the wise judgement of the Delhi HC has set aside the Indian government’s decision to restrain production of basmati rice only to the Indo-Gangetic plains on the pretense of maintaining the quality and purity of seeds.
He said the Geographical Indication (GI) of Basmati was restricted to the Indo-Gangetic region in seven states which meant that only the rice grown in these specified regions would be termed as basmati rice and the seeds so produced for Basmati cultivation could not be grown outside have also been set aside by the Delhi HC
The State of Madhya Pradesh had claimed that the thirteen districts in the State of Madhya Pradesh should also be included in the GI for Basmati Rice. Since the Madhya Pradesh had contended that the Indian governments move go against the provisions of the Seeds act, the court also carefully examined the scope and the ambit of the act.
The Delhi HC has negated the tricky designs of the Indian government to recognize only rice grown on the foothills of the Himalaya mountains as basmati disregarding the other aspects namely the features of the purity of the seeds and its germination which inherit the aroma, taste, length and look.
Fortunately in Pakistan the best selected seeds are used to grow basmati rice, which for centuries have earned the reputation all over the globe for its taste, aroma, length and look and Pakistan’s super basmati rice is the banquet rice in royal families. The Indians stole our seeds and could not match Pakistan’s variety due to the inherent qualities of the Pakistan fertile land and nature’s blessings.
Thaver said in view of the Delhi HC’s decision the Intellectual Property Rights Organization (IPRO) needs to expedite the GI and TM matters and remove all hurdles in the basmati definition, rights and ownership to allow genuine basmati growers and exporters to promote basmati rice all over the globe.
It is pertinent to note that basmati rice is exported mainly by the SMEs and the value addition to the grains is also done by the SMEs.
UNISAME is confident the concerned authorities will act fast in the best interest of justice and make efforts to get the best decisions from the honourable courts where the suits are pending since long
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