J&K government departments are delaying submission of details regarding Geographical Indication (GI) tagging of locally produced products and goods. Industries and Commerce Department have given them enough time still they have failed to do so. If this initiative is put to action then it will help people who are engaged in these jobs to earn good amount through international markets.
As a result of this uncalled delay, Industries and Commerce Department is facing problems in forwarding details to the Ministry of Commerce and Industry of Government of India. Official sources said that last year, Union Ministry of Commerce and Industry asked all J&K Government departments to produce details of items which need Geographical Indications registration under the Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act of 1999.
Sources informed that Geographical Indication is a sign which is used on products made in that location and have qualities or a reputation of originating from that region. These GI tags are generally used for agricultural products, food stuffs, handicrafts and industrial products. Nine items which originate in J&K have been granted Geographical Indications registration by now.
Manoj Kumar, then Commissioner Secretary to the Government passed a circular asking all Administrative Secretaries to present details of products which are in need of Geographical Indications registration so that they can be forwarded to Ministry of Commerce and Industry as soon as possible. This was done to avoid counter branding because there are many goods which need protection.
Many months have been passed since this circular was passed. Still, sources said that incompetent government officials have failed to produce details before the Industries and Commerce Department. As a consequence of this delay, no information could be forwarded to the Union Ministry of Commerce and Industry by now. Sources added that it appears like these department officials don’t understand the importance of GI registration.
There have been many instances when Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha asked for immediate GI tagging of products and goods originating in J&K which need protection. Moreover, his Principal Secretary Nitishwar Kumar and Ranjan Prakash Thakur, Principal Secretary to Government have raised issue of early GI tagging of locally produced important products in many meetings.
Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999 implies that “Geographical Indication” symbolises that products like agricultural goods, natural goods or manufactured goods have originated in a particular region where reputation of such goods can be attributed to its geographical origin. It helps in promotion of those products and local producers benefit from this scheme.