Geographical Indications of India Socio- Economic and Development Issues - Page 2

Gautam, Kumar a post graduate in Economics,is a research consultant. He has been engaged in policy research and advocacy for favourable changes on the livelihoods issues of farmers and artisans. H e has worked as policy and advocacy coordinator at All India Artisans and Craftworkers Welfare Association (AIACA), New Delhi. Besides having worked as a researcher with Institute for Human Development (IHD) and Centre for Trade and Development, both based in Delhi; he has been an articulate campaigner for fair, equitable and sustainable trade polices while working for Oxfam’s global campaigns namely ‘Make Trade Fair’ and ‘Economic Justice’. Kumar has published several research articles, case studies and articles on development issues in journals, newspapers and magazines both in English and Hindi.

March - April 2011, Craft Revival Trust
...continued from Page 1
Table 1: Category wise registered Gis

Category Number of registered products
Agriculture 31
Handicrafts 80
Manufactured 7
Food Stuff 2
Total 120
Source: GI Registry Office, Chennai; as on August 2010


Out of the total 28 states and 7 union territories of India (see Table 2), products from only 18 states have been registered under the GI act. Not even a single product has been registered from 10 states and 7 union territories of India. While Karnataka has the maximum products registered (27), the number of registered products from some of the biggest states with rich cultural and traditional knowledge is dismal. Interestingly, only a single product (Peruvian Pisco, a wine from Peru) from outside India has been registered seeking protection with the Indian GI Registry office.

Table 2: State/Region wise distribution of Gis in India

State/Region Number of registered products
West Bengal 7
Kerala 13
Tamil Nadu 18
Madhya Pradesh 4
Maharashtra 3
Orissa 5
Karnataka 27
Rajasthan 5
Andhra Pradesh 12
Himachal Pradesh 3
Bihar 4
Assam 2
Goa 1
Uttar Pradesh 4
Gujarat 4
Chhattisgarh 3
Nagaland 1
Jammu and Kashmir 3
Peru 1
Total 120
Source: GI Registry Office, Chennai; as on August 2010


(Source: GI Registry Office, Chennai); as on August 2010

The trends and patterns in the year wise distribution of Gis in India show (see Figure 2) that while there has been an overall increase in the number of registered GI products, the increase has not been consistent over the last 6 years. Only three (3) products were registered in the first year (2004-2005).

Figure 2: Year wise distribution of Gis in India


Source: Based on data from GI Office, Chennai; as on September 2010

The number of products registered under GI recorded a significance increase in the year 2005-06. Twenty four (24) new products were registered in the following year (2005-2006) but in the next year 2006-2007, only 3 new products were registered. The year 2008-09 witnesses the maximum number of new products registered (45) .However, in the following year there was again a significant drop in the number of new GI product registration. Only 14 products were registered in the year 2009-10.

Issues and Concerns
There are a number of issues and concerns in the context of harnessing the potential commercial benefits out of GI registration in India. Perhaps the biggest concern is near complete absence of an effective post-GI mechanism in the country. While domestic registration of a GI is a relatively easy task and there has been some progress on this account over the last seven years, it is important to understand that only registration of goods per se does not fulfil the objectives of the Act, unless it is backed by sound enforcement mechanism both in domestic and export markets. In fact, the enforcement of the Act in other countries is a much more complicated venture as this may pose a variety of constraints including technicalities involved in the registration process in various foreign countries; exorbitant expenses involved in appointing a watch-dog agency to get information on misappropriation; and huge financial resources needed for fighting legal battles in foreign lands (Kasturi Das, 2006). The government’s role is vital in the post- GI mechanism because without government support, most producer groups do not have the wherewithal to effectively defend or promote their GI brand. In India, perhaps only in the case of one good i.e. Darjeeling Tea; the Tea Board has had some success in defending against misappropriation in a few countries because they have the financial capacity to do so.

Though the Act defines the cases when a registered GI is said to be infringed, it is silent on the mechanism and provisions to fight against the infringement and this is an area where the government needs to play a larger role. According to Dr. Rajnikant Dwivedi, Director of Human Welfare Association, an association based in Varanasi working with handloom weavers, benefits of GI protection under the GI Act will actually depend on how effective is the post-GI mechanism. “Banarsee saree weavers continue to be a distressed lot, idle looms have not begun functioning and unscrupulous practices of selling imitation products in the name of Banarsee Saree have not been curbed.GI has not delivered its proposed benefits as yet. The moot question is –‘Will GI be helpful in bringing back those thousands of weavers back into this famous craft who gave up weaving as their livelihoods were destroyed due to almost the same reasons GI protection is supposed to address?’ Though it is a bit early to expect so much but even the associated optimism among the weavers seems to be somewhat missing.

The above concern highlights the facts that essentially the litmus test for GI is whether it can effectively protect and promote the livelihood interests of the concerned producers or not, especially the poor producers. Mr. Anil Singh, Director-NEED, a Lucknow based organisation and also an applicant in GI registration for Lucknow Chiken Craft says that GI may leave the artisans community completely high and dry as the awareness level on GI, the most basic recipe for success of any policy, is alarmingly dismal. The post-GI mechanism must have adequate provision for promotion and continuous awareness building. Chicken Craft, being an eco-friendly, gender sensitive craft, has huge potential to increase the bargaining power of the producers, however, this potential has not been tapped. Attempts have been made by the State Government to tap this potential by merging GI promotion with the department of tourism, promoting producer companies and other promotional measures. However, these efforts remain restricted to a few areas where civil society is active. One of the key concerns that Mr. Singh points out is that a majority of producers do not have the capacity to report and fight an infringement case.

The government also has not made any headway in adoption of strategies for marketing and distribution of the product, its branding and promotion, especially in foreign countries. This again is a herculean task, especially for the stakeholders from a resource-poor country like India. Success in exploiting the economic potential of a GI, to a great extent, depends on effective marketing and promotional efforts to develop consumer perceptions about the ‘niche’ acquired by the product on account of product-place link. Building up reputation about a GI-product is not an easy task, however. It takes a lot of time, patience, money, quality control and a well crafted marketing strategy to create a valuable GI brand. Champagne, for instance, took 150 years to build up reputation and goodwill.

Currently, the action related to GI appears concentrated on registration of GI goods and in many states the state Governments are acting in haste. The identification and registration is happening without adequate due diligence. Applicants often do not assess the commercial status/prospect of a GI product in the domestic and export markets; the potential of its GI status in contributing to its future growth; and the socio-economic implications of its GI-protection for the communities involved in its supply chain. As a result, the larger and the real objectives of the Act are bypassed, often leading to frivolous and inconsequential registration. Moreover, as Gis are a collective rights and not an individual right, the registration process offers an opportunity for community level sensitization and awareness. However, in the haste to register Gis, this opportunity is also lost. The awareness and involvement in the registration process of even GI goods remain reduced to the level of a few selected stakeholders. This has in some cases led to seriously erroneous omissions and commissions, defeating the larger purpose of the GI Act. For instance, the map submitted while applying for GI registration of Bagh Print (already a registered GI) excluded some areas where Bagh printing has existed for decades4. Another error has been pointed out in the case of Madhubani painting. Madhubani Painting on paper is registered as GI under Class16 which implies that Madhubani painting on cloth is not protected.

Another lacuna is that the definition of ‘Producer’ in the Act does not distinguish between a real producer, retailer or dealer. As a result of this discrepancy, the benefits of the Act may not percolate down to the real producer. Various economically powerful intermediaries may still continue their control over markets and the real producers may still be dependent on these intermediaries for market access. Even if GI protection would yield financial benefits, in such a scenario, firms with superior bargaining positions (located on the upper stream of the supply chain) may end up appropriating a disproportionate share of the economic value generated from securing protection (Ragnekar, 2004).

The knowledge underlying a GI remains in the public domain; hence misappropriation of the embedded knowledge is not protected against. For example, in handicrafts, the technical content will not be protected as a technical idea under the GI, while the cultural value as form of expression and its distinctive characteristics do get protection through marks or indications of geographical origin. Hence, GI should be considered as part of a wider set of policies measures that seek to protect and reward indigenous knowledge. If needed, the technical component of the handicraft could also be protected through other IPRs.

There is a dearth of literature from an Indian perspective on potential benefits from GI protection. While many studies have been done in Europe on the issue, hardly any systematic assessment has been undertaken by the relevant agencies in India while identifying the products to be accorded GI status. In the Indian context, studies are not available to address some of the pertinent questions related to GI and its development potential such as: What are the price premium consumers are willing to pay for goods protected under GI and given the ground realities, whether and how much the commercial benefits from GI protection will percolate down to the downstream supply chain? What implication will GI protection have in for rural development in India?

Recommendations
Extensive gaps exist on operationalizing Gis and this is where the focus of the government needs to be. Well-crafted policies and strategies on post-GI mechanisms are required for marketing, distribution, branding and promotion of the Indian GI products to realise the commercial potential of Indian Gis. There is the need for setting up a national level fund for fighting against infringement, brand building and promotional efforts of GI products.

Best possible efforts should be made to sensitize and make the concerned GI community aware through a series of workshops and consultations to ensure maximum level active participation in the process for GI registration. This will in turn translate into socio-economic benefits to the community flowing from GI registration post-GI.

In the wake of the deadlock existing at the multilateral trade negotiations at the WTO, international trade is shifting towards regional and bilateral free trade agreements and Gis are featuring prominently among the negotiation issues, including in the ongoing Indo-EU FTA. In the light of these developments, rigorous analytical studies on impact and implications will prove to be useful in chalking out negotiating positions for India.

Existing empirical studies are predominantly done within the European context and do not provide for the characteristics of origin-labelled supply chains in developing countries. From a policy perspective much empirical work remains to be done to determine the direct and indirect impact of geographical indications in the developing world. Systemic studies need to be undertaken to study the real impact of the registered GI on the producers’ community and the potential impact of GI protection for the goods identified for production.

The implications of Gis in the context of rural development in India need to be studied especially for sectors like agriculture, fisheries, crafts and artisanal works that provide livelihood for a large section of the poor in India. The entire supply chain study should be undertaken to examine or understand the socio-economic implication of GI. Without a collective body of empirical evidence on the impact of geographical indications, policy decisions in the developing world will remain uninformed, potentially producing unintended welfare impacts.

References

  • Akerlof, A.G., ‘The Market for Lemons: Quality, Uncertainty and the Market Mechanism’. Quarterly Journal of Economics, 84 (August): 488-500, 1970.

  • Cerkia Bramley, Estelle Bienbe and Johann Kirsten, The Economics of Geographical Indications: Towards a Conceptual Framework for Geographical Research in Developing countries published in Economics of Intellectual Property

  • Das, Kasturi (2006), Protection of Geographical Indications: An overview of select Issues with Special reference to India, Working Paper, 8;Centad,Delhi

  • Das, Kasturi (2009), Socioeconomic Implications of Protecting Geographical Indications in India, WTO Centre, IIFT, New Delhi.

  • EU Background Note, ‘Why do Geographical Indications Matter to Us?’ available at http://jp.cec.eu.int/home/news_en_newsobj553.php , 2004.

  • Loureiro, M.L. and J.J. McCluskey, ‘Assessing Consumer Response to Protected Geographical Identification Labelling’, Agribusiness 16 (3): 309-20, 2000.

  • Nelson, P., ‘Information and Consumer Behaviour’, Journal of Political Economy, 78 (March-April): 311-329, 1970.

  • OECD, ‘Appellations of Origin and Geographical Indications in OECD Member Countries: Economic and Legal Implications’, Working Party on Agricultural Policies and Markets of the Committee for Agriculture, Joint Working Party of the Committee for Agriculture and the Trade Committee, COM/AGR/APM/TD/WP (2000)15/FINAL, Paris, 2000.

  • Pacciani, A., G. Belletti, A. Marescotti and S. Scaramuzzi, ‘The Role of Typical Products in Fostering Rural Development and the Effects of Regulation (EEC) 2081/92’, 73rd Seminar of the European Association of Agricultural Economists, Ancona, Italy, June 28-30, 2001.

  • Rangnekar, D, ‘The Socio-Economics of Geographical Indications: A Review of Empirical Evidence from Europe’,Capacity Building Project on Intellectual Property Rights and Sustainable Development, UNCTAD/ICTSD, October 2003b.

  • Rangnekar, D.,‘The International Protection of Geographical Indications: The Asian Experience’, UNCTAD/ICTSD, Regional Dialogue on Intellectual Property Rights, Innovation and Sustainable Development, Hong Kong, SAR, Republic of China, November 8-10, 2004.

  • WIPO Magazine, “Geographical Indications: From Darjeeling to Doha” July 2007

  • World Trade Organization, ‘Promoting Agricultural Competitiveness through Local Know-How’ Workshop on Geographical Indications for Middle Eastern and Northern African Agri-Food Products, World Bank Report, Montpellier, June 2004.

  • World Trade Organization, ‘Exploring the Linkage between the Domestic Policy Environment and International Trade’, World Trade Report, available at http://www.wto.org/english/res_e/booksp_e/anrep_e/world_trade_report04_e.pdf , 2004.

  • Zografos, Daphne(2008);Geographical Indications and Socioeconomic Development, Working Paper 3, Iqsensato, U.K



Annexure – 1

Handicraft Products registered under Geographical Indications Act

S. No

Application No.

Geographical Indications

Goods

State

FROM APRIL 2004 – MARCH 2005

1

3

Aranmula Kannadi

Handicraft

Kerala

2

4

Pochampalli Ikat

Handicraft

Andhra Pradesh

FROM APRIL 2005 – MARCH 2006

3

5

Salem Fabric

Handicraft

Tamil Nadu

4

7

Chanderi Fabric

Handicraft

Madhya Pradesh

5

8

Solapur Chaddar

Handicraft

Maharashtra

6

9

Solapur Terry Towel

Handicraft

Maharashtra

7

10

Kotpad Handloom fabric

Handicraft

Orissa

8

11

Mysore Silk

Handicraft

Karnataka

9

12

Kota Doria

Handicraft

Rajasthan

10

15

Kancheepuram Silk

Handicraft

Tamil Nadu

11

16

Bhavani Jamakkalam

Handicraft

Tamil Nadu

12

19

Kullu Shawl

Handicraft

Himachal Pradesh

13

20

Bidriware

Handicraft

Karnataka

14

21

Madurai Sungudi

Handicraft

Tamil Nadu

15

22

Orissa Ikat

Handicraft

Orissa

16

23

Channapatna Toys & Dolls

Handicraft

Karnataka

17

24

Mysore Rosewood Inlay

Handicraft

Karnataka

18

28

Srikalahasthi Kalamkari

Handicraft

Andhra Pradesh

19

31

Kasuti Embroidery

Handicraft

Karnataka

20

32

Mysore Traditional Paintings

Handicraft

Karnataka

FROM APRIL 2006 – MARCH 2007

21

37

Madhubani Paintings

Handicraft

Bihar

FROM APRIL 2007 – MARCH 2008

22

44

Kondapalli Bommallu

Handicraft

Andhra Pradesh

23

47

Thanjavur Paintings

Handicraft

Tamil Nadu

24

53

Silver Filigree of Karimnagar

Handicraft

Andhra Pradesh

25

54

Alleppey Coir

Handicraft

Kerala

26

55

Muga Silk

Handicraft

Assam

27

65

Temple Jewellery of Nagercoil

Handicraft

Tamil Nadu

28

63

Thanjavur Art Plate

Handicraft

Tamil Nadu

29

76

Ilkal Sarees

Handicraft

Karnataka

30

73

Applique – Khatwa Patch Work of Bihar

Handicraft

Bihar

31

74

Sujini Embroidery Work of Bihar

Handicraft

Bihar

32

75

Sikki Grass Work of Bihar

Handicraft

Bihar

33

52

Nakshi Kantha

Handicraft

West Bengal

34

60

Ganjifa cards of Mysore (Karnataka)

Handicraft

Karnataka

35

61

Navalgund Durries

Handicraft

Karnataka

36

62

Karnataka Bronze Ware

Handicraft

Karnataka

37

77

Molakalmuru Sarees

Handicraft

Karnataka

38

94

Salem Silk known as Salem Venpattu

Handicraft

Tamil Nadu

39

93

Kovai Cora Cotton

Handicraft

Tamil Nadu

40

92

Arani Silk

Handicraft

Tamil Nadu

FROM APRIL 2008 – MARCH 2009

41

83

Bastar Dhokra

Handicraft

Chattisgarh

42

84

Bastar Wooden Craft

Handicraft

Chattisgarh

43

91

Nirmal Toys and Craft

Handicraft

Andhra Pradesh

44

59

Maddalam of Palakkad

Handicraft

Kerala

45

58

Screw Pine Craft of Kerala

Handicraft

Kerala

46

64

Swamimalai Bronze Icons

Handicraft

Tamil Nadu

47

82

Bastar Iron Craft

Handicraft

Chattisgarh

48

87

Konark Stone carving

Handicraft

Orissa

49

88

Orissa Pattachitra

Handicraft

Orissa

50

90

Machilipatnam Kalamkari

Handicraft

Andhra Pradesh

51

57

Brass Broidered Coconut Shell Crafts of Kerala

Handicraft

Kerala

52

66

Blue Pottery of Jaipur

Handicraft

Rajasthan

53

67

Molela Clay Work

Handicraft

Rajasthan

54

68

Kathputlis of Rajasthan

Handicraft

Rajasthan

55

97

Leather Toys of Indore

Handicraft

Madhya Pradesh

56

98

Bagh Prints of Madhya Pradesh

Handicraft

Madhya Pradesh

57

100

Sankheda Furniture

Handicraft

Gujarat

58

101

Agates of Cambay

Handicraft

Gujarat

59

102

Bell Metal Ware of Datia and Tikamgarh

Handicraft

Madhya Pradesh

60

103

Kutch Embroidery

Handicraft

Gujarat

61

51

Kani Shawl

Handicraft

Jammu & Kashmir

62

79

Chamba Rumal

Handicraft

Himachal Pradesh

63

86 & 108

Pipli Applique Work

Handicraft

Orissa

64

89

Budiiti Bell & Brass Craft

Handicraft

Andhra Pradesh

65

96

Thanjavur Doll

Handicraft

Tamil Nadu

66

104

Santiniketan Leather Goods

Handicraft

West Bengal

67

105

Nirmal Furniture

Handicraft

Andhra Pradesh

68

106

Nirmal Paintings

Handicraft

Andhra Pradesh

69

107

Andhra Pradesh Leather Puppetry

Handicraft

Andhra Pradesh

70

46

Kashmir Pashmina

Handicraft

Jammu & Kashmir

71

48

Kashmir Sozani Craft

Handicraft

Jammu & Kashmir

72

119

Lucknow Chikan Craft

Handicraft

Uttar Pradesh

73

122

Uppada Jamdani Sarees

Handicraft

Andhra Pradesh

FROM APRIL 2009 – MARCH 2010

74

128

Puneri Pagadi

Handicraft

Maharashtra

75

99

Banaras Brocades and Sarees

Handicraft

Uttar Pradesh

76

127

Tangaliya Shawl

Handicraft

Gujarat

77

138

Santipore Saree

Handicraft

West Bengal

78

144

Cannanore Home Furnishings

Handicraft

Kerala

79

147

Sanganeri Hand Block Printing

Handicraft

Rajasthan

80

152

Balaramapuram Sarees and Fine Cotton Fabrics

Handicraft

Kerala



Note: This paper is a shorter version of the GI policy brief printed, published and disseminated by AIACA.

Foot Note References
  1. Intellectual property Rights, very broadly, means the legal rights which result from intellectual activity in the industrial, scientific, literary and artistic fields. Countries have laws to protect intellectual property for two main reasons. One is to give statutory expression to the moral and economic rights of creators in their creations and the rights of the public in access to those creations. The second is to promote, as a deliberate act of Government policy, creativity and the dissemination and application of its results and to encourage fair trading which would contribute to economic and social development. (WIPO Intellectua;l Property Handbook; Policy, Law and Use)

  2. The six IPRs are patents, copyrights, trademarks, Geographical indications, Industrial Designs and Trade secrets.

  3. As defined in realm of the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) of the World Trade Organisation (WTO)

  4. Pointed by Mr. Chinmaya Mishra in a planning Commission meeting held recently



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