Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister condemns Punjab CM in Basmati GI tagging case

Bhopal : Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shri Shivraj Singh Chouhan today condemned Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh for writing a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi regarding the efforts to get Madhya Pradesh’s famous Basmati rice a Geographical Indication Tag (GI tagging) and said that this move is inspired by politics.

Chief Minister Shri Chouhan has said that, ‘I condemn the letter written to the Prime Minister by the Congress government of Punjab in the matter of GI tagging of Basmati rice of Madhya Pradesh and consider it politically inspired. I wish to question the Chief Minister of Punjab, Captain Amarinder Singh, as to what hostility he has with the farmers of Madhya Pradesh? It is not a matter of Madhya Pradesh or Punjab, it is a matter of farmers of the entire country and their livelihood.

Chief Minister Shri Shivraj Singh Chouhan has written a letter in this context to Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi. Referring to the historical connection of Basmati rice of Madhya Pradesh, he urged him to grant GI status to the state’s Basmati rice to encourage farmers and basmati rice based industries.

Amidst efforts of the state to get GI tag for the famous basmati rice exported by Madhya Pradesh, the Chief Minister of Punjab wrote a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi yesterday and sought his intervention in this regard. The letter claimed that this would affect the interests of Punjab and other states whose basmati rice already has a ‘GI tag’. The letter also said that Pakistan could also benefit if this happens.

Chief Minister Shri Chouhan has said that the case of Agriculture and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) with Pakistan has no connection with the claims of Madhya Pradesh. Because it comes under the GI Act of India and has no connection with the claims of basmati rice within the country. Basmati exporters of Punjab and Haryana are buying basmati rice from Madhya Pradesh. The central government’s export data confirms this. The central government has been supplying ‘Breeder seed’ of basmati rice to Madhya Pradesh since the year 1999.

Chief Minister Shri Chouhan said that it is recorded in the then ‘Scindia State’ records that in the year 1944, seeds were suplied to the farmers of the state. The Indian Institute of Rice Research, Hyderabad has recorded in its ‘Production Oriented Survey Report’ that basmati rice is being produced in Madhya Pradesh since the last 25 years. GI tagging to Madhya Pradesh will stabilize the prices of India’s basmati rice in the international markets and boost the country’s export. Chief Minister Shri Chouhan told that Basmati is being produced in 13 districts of Madhya Pradesh since the year 1908 and has been registered in history. Basmati rice of Madhya Pradesh is considered very tasty and is famous both in the country and abroad for its flavours and fragrance.

Chief Minister Shri Chouhan informed that, IIRR, Hyderabad and other specialist institutions have confirmed reports in connection with the traditional cultivation of basmati in Madhya Pradesh. A copy of this report has been sent separately to the Union Agriculture Minister in this context. A high-level committee has been constituted to examine the representation given for providing GI facility to Basmati rice produced in the state and the matter is still pending for disposal with the committee.

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