December 10: Nepal has challenged India’s claim over geographical indication tag for Basmati rice. The government of Nepal is making preparations for counter claim after India lodged an application with the European Union exclusive rights over Basmati rice based on geographical indication.
Issuing a press statement, the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development has said its serious attention has been drawn to the claim made by India.
The government has maintained that Nepal too should enjoy exclusive rights based on geographical indication over Basmati rice as the country has been producing the rice species and selling it abroad since time immemorial.
The ministry informed that the National Agriculture Genetic Resource Centre, Khumaltar will be making counter claim for the exclusive right at the EU within the given deadline.
Spokesperson of the ministry Dr Hari Bahadur KC informed that the centre will soon make a formal claim on behalf of the government.
India has also filed a patent claim against an American research company after the establishment of the World Trade Organisation.
India had filed the complaint after an American company obtained patent for a cross-breed of Basmati rice. After India won the claim, it has been exporting Basmati rice to the USA.
Pakistan has also claimed its stake on Basmati rice.
Vice President of the Intellectual Property Protection Society Madhusudhan Poudyal says Nepal made a mistake when India filed the patent claim but now it has take the right decision. He says it is necessary to stop India from claiming exclusive right over Basmati rice.