ISLAMABAD: Pakistan plans to challenge, within two weeks, Indian's request before the European Union for a patent for Basmati rice, the chairman of the Senate Standing Committee on Commerce and Trade said on Wednesday.
Islamabad accuses Delhi of "cheating" its neighbour by applying for an exclusive Geographical Indications (GI) tag for Basmati rice in the European Union (EU) this month.
Mirza Muhammad Afridi said Pakistan produced a wide range of Basmati rice varieties and had the right to apply for a GI tag.
“Hopefully Pakistan will challenge the Indian move in two weeks,” the senate committee chairman said, adding that though Pakistan technically had three months to challenge New Delhi's action, it would do so much sooner.
Pakistan is one of the largest exporters of rice in the world
According to the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics, the export of basmati rice from Pakistan increased by 33 percent and overall rice exports surged by seven percent during July-March 2019-20 period.