Following the registration of seven world-famous handicrafts of Jammu & Kashmir under Geographical Indication of Goods (GI) Act, the Government is now actively pursuing GI registration of five more crafts for quality assurance so that their marketing in the national and international market receives considerable fillip.
This information was given out in a meeting and video conference chaired by the Commissioner/ Secretary, Industries & Commerce, Manoj Kumar Dwivedi, today.
The meeting was attended by Director Handicrafts & Handloom, Kashmir, Mussarat Islam, Director, Handicrafts & Handloom, Jammu, Vikas Gupta and Director IICT, Zubair Ahmad.
The crafts shortlisted for GI registration include Basohli Pashmina & Painting, Tweed fabric, Loi blankets from Kishtwar and Chikri craft from Rajouri district. While Craft Development Institute is the Nodal Agency for GI registration of Loi blankets & Tweed, NABARD shall facilitate GI registration of Basohli Painting & Pashmina and Chikri crafts.
With the objective to restore handicrafts glory of Jammu & Kashmir and ensure substantial remuneration for artisans and weavers, the Commissioner/ Secretary informed the meeting that GI registration followed by certification and labelling shall enable quality assurance of these products and the right to use the indication to prevent its misuse by a third party or unauthorized user whose product does not conform to the applicable standards. GI label, he added, shall also be used on products that have a specific geographical origin and possess qualities or reputation that are due to that origin.
While emphasising upon bringing more and more indigenous crafts within the ambit of GI tagging, Mr. Dwivedi directed all the concerned officers to take necessary steps to expedite completion of requisite formalities so that the crafts exclusive to Jammu and Kashmir are empaneled with GI Registry.
According to an official press release issued by the Industries & Commerce Department; Pashmina & Kani shawls, Carpet, Wood Carving, Sozni & Crewel embroidery and Khatamband have already been GI registered for which the proprietary rights lie with Tahafuz & Meeras Societies. The famous Kashmir Saffron was also recently GI registered which shall go a long way in protecting its counter branding by other countries.
With liberal funding from the Department of Commerce, Ministry of Commerce & Industry, Government of India, a Testing-cum-Certification Centre has already been established for GI labelling and branding of products. For GI certification of carpets, the Government is in the process of upgrading the existing lab in the Indian Institute of Carpet Technology (IICT), Srinagar.
After inspection and testing, GI label is fixed on the product. The label contains requisite product information and also has an alphanumerical code on it for product verification, the press hand-out stated, adding that GI certification shall boost export of famed handicrafts and handloom products from Jammu & Kashmir and also stem the sale of machine-made and fake items in the name of genuine handmade products.
Mr. Dwivedi, who also holds the charge of the General Administration Department, stated that the Government has recently advised all the Administrative Departments in J&K UT to propose details of products which require GI registration in order to protect the local goods known for their quality and reputation.