Guwahati : Dr Himanta Biswa Sarmah, Health Minister of Assam handed over the Geographical Indication (GI) certificate to Chief Minister of Assam Tarun Gogoi during the Seminar/Workshop on prospects and Importance of Geographical Indication in Assam at Guwahati on 24-08-07. The Muga Silk of Assam has been registered as the Geographical Indication of Assam under the Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999. This is the first Geographical Indication of the state.
A Geographical Indication (GI) is an indication of designated product of a definite geographical territory and is used to identity agriculture, natural or manufactured goods originating from the territory. The benefit of GIs are it confers legal protection to Geographical Indication in India and world over, prevents unauthorized use of a registered Geographical Indication by others, boosts exports and promotes economic prosperity of producers of goods produced in a geographical territory. The act gives the right to register a protected name to three categories of the persons- 1. The actual producers and groups of such producers of the goods in the geographical area specified in the application, 2. Groups of consumers and 3. Any competent authority. Muga Silk has a special quality, characteristic and reputation based upon the climatic and production characteristics unique to the geographical area of Assam. But these days market is flooded with golden coloured fabric called muga made of muga blended with any proportion of polyester/Tessar yarn. It can be hardly detained by consumers and this certificate may change the situation.