QR code-based GI tag to discourage counterfeit production of Kashmiri carpets

NEW DELHI — Implementation of QR-code based Geographical Indication (GI) tag for Kashmiri hand-knotted carpets will discourage their counterfeit production and enable buyers to identify authenticity of carpets produced in the union territory, an official said on Friday.

The QR-code based mechanism has recently been introduced for the purpose of testing and certification of hand-knotted carpets manufactured in Jammu and Kashmir.

The Geographical Indication Registry under the Department of Industry Promotion and Internal Trade, Union Ministry of Commerce and Industry, granted GI tag to Kashmiri carpets in June 2016.

“It is an initiative that will go a long way in transforming and preserving the future of carpet industry in Jammu and Kashmir. Customers now could easily differentiate and verify the authenticity and other specific details of hand-knotted Kashmiri carpets made in Jammu and Kashmir,” Carpet Export Promotion Council (CEPC) Chairman Umar Hameed said.

He highlighted that the QR code-attached registered logo stamped on the secured fusion label, possessing requisite covert and overt information, is to be embossed on duly tested/certified carpets so that the label cannot be copied or misused.

“It will discourage the counterfeit productions of carpets that cost the livelihood of weavers’ community and the industry as well,” Hameed added.

Mehmood Ahmad Shah, director, Handicrafts & Handloom Kashmir, Government of J&K, stated, “The QR code attached to the GI Tag will help in reviving the sheen and glory of Kashmiri Carpet Industry by certifying the genuineness of the Hand-knotted Kashmir Carpets with relevant information of the manufacturer, weaver, district, raw material etc.” He said the innovation will go a long way in preserving the quality of hand-knotted carpets.

Eventually, it would boost exports as they would be treated at par with the quality/price of Iranian and Turkish hand-knotted carpets.

Addressing a seminar virtually on introduction of GI tag for the carpets, organised by CEPC, Ranjan Prakash Thakur, Principal Secretary, Government Industries and Commerce, Government of J&K, said the QR code-based mechanism will help in checking the duplicity or fake branding sabotaging the growth of the carpet industry in the valley.

“The carpets made in J&K are being exported to more than 20 countries. In 2020-21, carpets worth Rs 115 crore were exported to Germany. Given the international export size and market competition, it is a prerequisite to safeguard the authenticity of the products for the sustainability of the local weavers and exporters,” Thakur said. — (PTI)