Pakistan to register Himalayan pink salt as Geographical Indications

Islamabad, February 19

Pakistan has decided to register Himalayan pink salt as Geographical Indications (GI) to prevent its unauthorised use by other countries.

A GI tag is a sign used on products that have a specific geographical origin and possess origin-based qualities and reputation in the region.

The precious salt is extracted from the Salt Range in Punjab which extends along the south of the Potohar Plateau and the north of the Jhelum River.

The decision was taken in a meeting with the Intellectual Property Organisation (IPO) Pakistan chaired by Commerce Adviser Razak Dawood. IPO Chairman Mujeeb Ahmed Khan also attended the meeting, the Dawn newspaper reported on Friday.

An official announcement said that during the meeting, GI registration of products from various regions of Pakistan was discussed. The move aims to curb unauthorised use of Pakistan’s GI by other countries.

Pink Himalayan salt is said to be loaded with minerals that are beneficial to health.

Pakistan is fighting a case in the 27-member European Union against India’s move to get Basmati rice registered as its product.

“We decided that, after registration of rice, pink salt from the Salt Range mountains of Pakistan will be registered as GI,” the adviser said, adding that this would encourage and motivate our producers to expand their business at a global level.

For this, a registrant would be designated with the approval of the Cabinet.

Similarly, a list of other products on a priority basis will be pursued.

“We urge our business community to identify and inform IPO of other products that can be registered as GI in order to protect them for realising their export potential,” Dawood said.

The commerce adviser expressed satisfaction at the progress made and reiterated the importance of GI registration for various products.

The registration of GI products would serve as a potential economic tool to promote and enhance national and international trade of Pakistan, Dawood said, adding speedy registration would protect GIs of Pakistan and eradicate the possibility of violation of these products, the adviser said.

He further advised the commerce ministry to double its efforts for registration of potential products as GI on a priority basis, it said.

In January, Pakistan received the GI tag for its Basmati, paving the way for creating a local registry for the particular strain of rice and making a case in the international market, as the country fights a case in the EU against India’s move to get Basmati rice registered as its product. PTI

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