JAMMU: The concerned departments of Jammu and Kashmir are failed to submit details for Geographical Indication (GI) tagging of locally produced products and goods despite ample opportunity given by the Industries and Commerce Department and being aware of the fact that such an initiative would help the people affiliated with the job to get good amount in international markets.
Due to this, the Industries and Commerce Department is finding it difficult to furnish the requisite information to the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of India, which is more than keen to extend necessary help to the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir on this aspect.
Official sources said that last year the Union Ministry of Commerce and Industry advised J&K Government that all the departments may be directed to furnish details of items which require Geographical Indications registration under the Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act of 1999.
“Geographical Indication is a sign used on the products that have a specific geographical origin and possess qualities or a reputation that are due to that origin”, sources said, adding “these are typically used for agricultural products, food stuffs, handicrafts and industrial products”.
As a part of the efforts to protect the local goods known for their qualities and reputation, Government has obtained Geographical Indications registration for nine items of Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir till date.
As there are many goods which require protection so as to avoid counter branding of the same, the then Commissioner Secretary to the Government, Industries and Commerce Department Manoj Kumar Dwevidi vide Circular No.01- IND dated January 8, 2021 enjoined upon all the Administrative Secretaries to furnish details of items which require Geographical Indications registration with the Industries and Commerce Department so that the same are shared with the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of India as expeditiously as possible.
However, despite lapse of several months concerned departments have not furnished the requisite details to the Industries and Commerce Department as a result of which no information could be submitted to the Union Ministry of Commerce and Industry till date, sources said, adding “it seems that either these departments don’t understand the importance of GI registration or slackness has created impediments in submission of details to the Industries and Commerce Department”.
It is pertinent to mention here that Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha has a number of times laid stress on immediate GI tagging of those products and goods of J&K which require protection. Even his Principal Secretary Nitishwar Kumar and Principal Secretary to Government, Industries and Commerce Department Ranjan Prakash Thakur have in numerous meetings asked for early GI tagging of locally produced important products.
When contacted, Principal Secretary, Industries and Commerce Department said, “as far as other departments are concerned, I have not seen any update on the issue till date. However, Directorate of Handicrafts has initiated an exercise in this regard”.
When contacted, Mahmood Ahmad Shah, Director, Handicrafts, J&K said, “we have identified 10-12 more crafts for GI tagging and detailed exercise in this regard is being conducted by Craft Development Institute”, adding “till date J&K has 9 GI tagged crafts and hopefully necessary details about more identified crafts would be submitted to the Union Ministry of Commerce and Industry in shortest possible time”.
In response to a question, he said, “not all the departments have the products and goods which require GI tagging but the concerned ones have to take initiatives on their own and they can be provided assistance by the Industries and Commerce Department”. As per the (Indian) Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999, “Geographical Indication”, in relation to goods, means an indication which identifies such goods as agricultural goods, natural goods or manufactured goods as originating, or manufactured in the territory of a country, or a region or locality in that territory, where a given quality, reputation or other characteristic of such goods is essentially attributable to its geographical origin. It provides legal protection thus preventing unauthorized use of the registered GIs by others. Moreover, it promotes economic prosperity of producers of goods produced in a geographical territor