PM Asked To Be Proactive About GI Products

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Photo: Collected

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Photo: Collected

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has directed all concerned to be proactive regarding Geographical Indication (GI) products. She gave this instruction in the Cabinet meeting Chaired by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today Sunday (February 11). Cabinet Secretary Md. Mahbub Hossain conveyed the message to the media.

Cabinet Secretary said that the journal which is being published in Bangladesh about the GI Tangail saree has been informed to the Prime Minister. 

He said also that The Prime Minister asked everyone to be active in getting recognition of GI products. The Prime Minister has directed the concerned ministries to work seriously on all possible products that can be recognized as GI products in the country.

Earlier Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has received the Geographical Indication (GI) certificates for three renowned Bangladeshi products -- Tangail sarees, Narsingdi's Sagar bananas, and Gopalganj's rosogolla.

Industries Minister Nurul Majid Mahmud Humayun and Secretary Zakia Sultana handed over the certificates to the premier at the start of a cabinet meeting at her office on Sunday. These certificates recognise the unique geographical origin and qualities of these products. 

It came amid a whirlwind of controversy after India's ministry of industries received GI recognition for a saree named 'Tangail Saree of Bengal', with the approval of the World Intellectual Property Organization.

Earlier on February 1, a post regarding the ownership of the Tangail saree was posted on the Indian Ministry of Culture's Facebook page. It claims that the Tangail saree originated in West Bengal, India. The post further states, 'The Tangail saree, originating from West Bengal, is a traditional handwoven masterpiece. Famous for its fine texture, varied colors and delicate jamdani motifs – it symbolizes the region's rich cultural heritage.

In a Facebook post, the Indian Ministry of Culture asserted that the Tangail saree originated from West Bengal, a claim that contradicts the saree's deep-rooted association with Bangladesh. The move sparked a backlash in Bangladesh, with saree merchants, legal experts, and rights advocates questioning how India could claim GI recognition for the Tangail saree, given that Tangail is a region in Bangladesh and the handloom saree is a distinctly Bangladeshi product.

In response to the controversy, Bangladesh's government agencies took action, with the Tangail district administration submitting a GI recognition application for the sarees on Feb 6. The application was subsequently approved and officially gazetted by the DPDT.

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