Pakistan Takes on India in ‘Basmati’ Rice Exclusive Right Claim

Pakistan would challenge India’s claim to “Basmati” rice products as it says information and facts had been manipulated in the latter’s application and the case was based on weak grounds.

“Basmati” is an export cash cow for both neighbors. As of 2018-19, India exported to 65 percent of the overseas basmati rice market, while Pakistan accounted for the remainder.

Traditionally, this long, slender-grained aromatic rice is grown in geographically exclusive areas of both the South Asian countries.

Pakistani businessmen fear losing Geographical Indication (GI) tag to India would be ‘disastrous’.

The EU is a massive destination for Pakistani rice exporters also.

Pakistan has decided to challenge India’s claim of exclusive rights over the use of GI tag to Basmati rice in the EU.

A local report said India has claimed its rights over Basmati rice in the European Union (EU) market and has challenged the Geographical Indication (GI) law.

The EU has reportedly uploaded the information on its website so that if any country has any objection it can make a request within a specific time period.

“India had manipulated facts in its application and its case was based on weak grounds,” an official said. The Indian application mentions Basmati rice as an Indian origin product, despite the fact that similar rice is widely produced in Pakistan.

What is so special about basmati rice?

Healthwise, Basmati rice is low in fat and cholesterol.

Basmati grain expands more than twice its dry length during cooking. Unlike other types of rice the grains only expand lengthways resulting in them retaining their long slender characteristic when cooked.