GI Tags Boosting Economy
News Kashmir Analysis
Geographical indication (GI) is a name or sign used on products which corresponds to a specific geographical location or origin (e.g., a town, region, or country). The use of a geographical indication, as an indication of the product’s source, is intended as a certification that the product possesses certain qualities, is made according to traditional methods, or enjoys a good reputation due to its geographical origin.
Article 22.1 of the TRIPS Agreement defines geographical indications as “…indications which identify a good as originating in the territory of a Member [of the World Trade Organization], or a region or locality in that territory, where a given quality, reputation or other characteristic of the good is essentially attributable to its geographical origin.”
In India, sometime back adding to the present collection of Geographical Indications (GIs), nine new items, including gamocha of Assam, Tandur red gram of Telangana, Raktsey Karpo apricot of Ladakh, and Alibag white onion of Maharashtra, have been given the coveted GI tag. Kerala has been awarded five GI tags for its agricultural produce.
With this, the total number of GI tags in India comes to 432. The top five states holding the maximum number of GIs are Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, and Kerala. Of these, 401 are Indian-origin products, 31 foreign-origin.
In Kashmir too the large number of GI tags given by the Government is giving many positives by boosting the local economy and promoting orginal and pure products of Kashmir..
The GI tag ensures that none other than those registered as authorised users (or at least those residing inside the geographic territory) are allowed to use the popular product name.
As a matter of fact, The Department of Handicrafts and Handloom (H&H) Kashmir has submitted the dossier for registration of two more crafts viz. Crewel and Chain-stitch to Intellectual Property India, Chennai, an apex body for the registration and better protection of geographical indications (GI) relating to goods in India.
Recently also, to give a impetus to saffron production in Kashmir, J&K government launched new initiatives including the introduction of GI tagging.
The GI certification of Kashmiri saffron by Geographical Indications Registry would cease the adulteration and will also put an end to the marketing of saffron cultivated in other countries under the garb of being produced in Kashmir.
In other development sometime back, The Jammu and Kashmir government has finally started a Geographical Indication (GI) registry for the famed Kashmiri carpet with a quick response (QR) code with details of artisans and the material used. The first ever consignment of GI-tagged carpets were exported to Germany from New Delhi.
One hopes Geographical Indications would continue to boost economy of Jammu and Kashmir and entire India.