Halal-certification ban will hurt India’s interest in the 3.5 trillion US dollar industry

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For representational purposes.

India Tomorrow

NEW DELHI—Even as the Uttar Pradesh government has banned the production, storage, distribution, and sale of Halal-certified products across the state with immediate effect, it has permitted the manufacture of Halal products for export purposes.

The ban seems to be the result of certain individuals propagating false claims against Halal Certification. It may directly undermine India’s national interests. Reportedly, Halal Trade stands as a significant $3.5 trillion industry, and India benefits from its promotion in exports and tourism, particularly with trade partners in the OIC countries and Southeast Asia.

Collaborating closely with APEDA (Agricultural Products Exports Development Authority of India) and Indian embassies worldwide, Jamiat Ulama-I-Hind Halal Trust actively promotes Indian Halal Certified products in global markets.

The ban on Halal-certified products was imposed reportedly after an FIR was lodged at Lucknow’s Hazratganj police station on November 17. The complainant is Shailendra Kumar Sharma, ex-vice president of Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM). He alleged in the FIR that some companies were certifying products as Halal, “in order to increase their sale among a community,” and thus the companies were “toying with the public’s faith”. He alleged that the amount earned through Halal certification was in crores and the money thus collected was being used in funding the terrorist organizations and anti-national activities.

Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind Halal Trust is one of the eight accused in the FIR which issued a clarification in the regard. The other accused are Halal India Pvt. Ltd, Chennai, and Halal Council of India. Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind Halal Trust said that it would take necessary legal measures to counter misinformation in response to the allegations that it said were aimed at tarnishing its image.

Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind Halal Trust’s Halal Certificates are recognized by governments and authorities all across the world. Authorities situated in countries like Malaysia (JAKIM), Indonesia, Thailand (CICOT), Singapore (MUIS), South Korea (MFDS), Qatar (MoH), UAE (MOIAT, ESMA & EIAC), Saudi Arabia (SFDA), SASO (Saudi Arabia) and all GCC countries (GAC) have recognized the Jamiat certification about Halal products from India. Jamiat Ulama-I-Hind Halal Trust is a member of the World Halal Food Council.

The notification banning the Halal certification said that products such as dairy items, sugar, bakery products, peppermint oil, salty ready-to-eat beverages, and edible oils were being labelled with Halal certification.

The notification issued by the commissioner of the Food Safety and Drug Administration, claims that Halal certification of food products was a parallel system that created confusion regarding the quality of food items and was completely against the basic intention of the related Act, and is not tenable under Section 89 of the Act.

While the UP government notification says that the Halal certification was a ‘parallel system,’ Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind Halal Trust issued a clarification, “We adhere to government regulations, as emphasized in the Ministry of Commerce & Industry notification, requiring all Halal Certification bodies to be registered by NABCB (National Accreditation Board for Certification Bodies under the Quality Council of India). It claims that Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind Halal Trust is registered by NABCB for Halal certification.

The trust claimed that all financial transactions were duly accounted for, with proper GST and income tax payments and thorough auditing, ensuring complete legality and transparency in operations.

Niaz A. Farooqui, CEO of Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind Halal Trust said that their certification process aligned with manufacturers’ requirements for both export purposes and domestic distribution in India. He said,
“The global demand for Halal Certified products is robust, and Indian companies must obtain such Certification.” He claimed that this fact was endorsed by the Ministry of Commerce, Government of India referring to Ministry of Commerce Trade notification no. 25/2022-2.

Mr. Farooqui elaborated, “The Halal Certification logo not only aids Halal consumers but also offers informed choices to all consumers. It is also a matter of choice of individuals and manufacturers preferring certain certifications for their own satisfaction based upon the credentials.”

He added that it saved a large number of consumers from using products that they did not want for a variety of reasons and ensured the availability of need-based products in the market.

 “Those who do not want to use such products are free not to use them”, he emphasized. Mr. Farooqui explained that Halal certification stood as a significant economic activity benefiting India. “It’s not merely a requirement for importing countries but also for tourists visiting India, particularly those seeking Halal-certified products during their stay, as highlighted by the Ministry of Commerce & Industry.”

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