The Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) is reportedly planning to ask online retailers such as Amazon and Flipkart to focus on listing geographical indication (GI) items, to give a boost to local producers and manufacturers.
According to the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO), GI is a sign used on products that have a specific geographical origin and possess qualities or a reputation that are due to that origin.
In India, products such as Darjeeling Tea, Kullu Shawls and Kashmiri Saffron are some notable examples of items with the GI tag. As of March 2020, India has registered 361 GI products. The DPIIT is expected to meet with representatives of etailers this week to identify GI products with the maximum demand in the market for a pilot project, sources told Mint.
“The meeting will be on figuring out a standardised practice of listing these products on ecommerce platforms, and digital literacy, which is needed to be provided to manufacturers, sellers and cooperative societies manufacturing and selling these geographical indication products,” one of the sources cited above said.
The proposed pilot project for the promotion of products with GI tag comes amid growing calls to push the sales of ‘Made in India’ products and reduce the country’s reliance on exports, especially from China, after border clashes between the two countries in Ladakh’s Galwan Valley in June.
Since June, the government has upped the ante in its boycott of China-made products, with ministers from the ruling party calling on people to boycott Chinese items as part of the government’s ‘Aatma Nirbhar Bharat’ or Self-Reliant India’ vision. Recently, in its Consumer Protection (Ecommerce) Rules, 2020, the government instructed all etailers to provide the ‘country of origin’ information for all products listed on their website. The ‘country of origin’ clause for ecommerce entities is seen as a measure to provide consumers with all the information about a product they may wish to buy, thus empowering them to make an informed choice. The Government e-Marketplace (GeM) has also made the ‘country of origin’ clause mandatory.
Apart from ecommerce, the government is also seen to be moving away from Chinese telecom providers Huawei and ZTE, instructing state-owned telcos not to buy equipment from these companies.