The geographical indication law was drafted in the year 2000 by Pakistan, and now the ministry of commerce is all set to submit the draft law to the cabinet for approval before presenting the bill to the parliament.
The pending geographical indication law is needed for the protection of the commercial heritage of the products of Pakistan including the Multani halwa, Basmati rice, Kasuri methi, Sindhi ajrak, Peshawari chappal, Swati wild mushrooms, Chaman grapes, kinnow of Sargodha, Apricots of Gilgit Baltistan, Nilli-Ravi buffalo and Dir knives.
The commerce secretary—Mohammad Younus Dagha taking notice of the pending law has asked the concerned department and staff for submitting the draft GI Law to Ministry of Law within a span of 2 days so that it could be approved by the cabinet and later by the parliament.
As per sources, the meeting was briefed that international brands were selling Pakistan made goods owing to the non-finalisation of the GI law, hence resulting in causing huge losses to the local producers and manufacturers.
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It is important to mention that the Commerce Division has been working on the GI law since 2000, however, the law remained suspended for the last 18 years because of the differences between the influential lobbies, hence cause a failure of the marketplace regulation.
The GI law covers an extensive variety of products including the agricultural, horticultural, industrial and others.
Without the imposition of this law, Pakistan could not claim exclusive GI of the basmati rice. The Rice Association of Pakistan has long been asking the government for approving the GI law as the Indian basmati rice was capturing more prices in the European markets in comparison to the same products of Pakistan.