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Halal Certification Ban in Uttar Pradesh

Context:

The Uttar Pradesh Government’s Food Security and Drug Administration has imposed an immediate ban on the “manufacture, sale, storage, and distribution of halal-certified products.”

Relevance:

GS II: Government policies and Interventions

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. About Halal Certification Ban
  2. Halal Certificate Issuance Process
  3. What has the government done?

About Halal Certification Ban

Halal Definition:
  • Arabic term signifying ‘permissible’ in Islam.
  • Denotes products fit for consumption by followers of Islam, particularly crucial for meat items and when exporting to Muslim nations.
Ban Reason:
  • A complaint filed in Lucknow by a BJP youth wing office bearer prompted the ban.
  • Halal certifying outfits accused of issuing “forged” certificates to boost sales among a specific community.
  • Alleged violation of “public trust” and creation of “social animosity.”
Government Stance:
  • Legal Basis: The government asserts that the ban aligns with existing laws and fair trade practices.
  • Objective: Official stance denies targeting any specific community, emphasizing adherence to legal and ethical standards.
Enforcement Actions:
  • Subsequent to the ban, police units conducted raids in various malls across Uttar Pradesh to seize halal-certified products.
Controversial Implications:
  • Community Concerns: Many view this government action as potentially marginalizing the Muslim community in the state.
  • Official Clarification: The government maintains its position, stating the enforcement is rooted in legal provisions and trade regulations.

Halal Certificate Issuance Process:

Certifying Authorities:
  • Organizations: Certificates issued by Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind’s Halal Unit and the Halal Shariat Islamic Law Board.
  • Accreditation: Both organizations cleared by the National Accreditation Board for Certification Bodies.
  • Scope: Shariat Islamic Law Board certifies food products, while Jamiat’s unit focuses on meat.
Reaction to Ban:
  • Surprise and Disapproval: Certifying agencies express surprise, claiming no prior notice from the government.
  • Legal Consideration: Considering legal options, citing potential infringement on citizens’ fundamental right to consume faith-permissible food.
  • Compliance Assertion: Jamiat emphasizes adherence to government regulations, including NABCB registration.
Export Product Certification:
  • Ban Scope: Ban applies to sales, manufacture, and storage within Uttar Pradesh, exempting export products.
  • Jamiat’s Clarification: Halal certificates by Jamiat’s unit exclusively for export purposes.
  • Misconception Clarification: Denial of issuing Halal certificates for vegetarian products in domestic markets.
Retailer Insights:
  • Business Disruption: Retailers affected by the sudden ban reveal complexities in the certification process.
  • Vegetarian Products: Acknowledgement of vegetarian products carrying Halal certificates for export, sometimes

entering the domestic market.

Concerns and Clarifications:
  • Sentimental Impact: Clarification that vegetarian products unlikely to hurt sentiments, emphasizing proper certification processes.
  • Financial Transparency: Assurance of legality and transparency in financial transactions, including GST and income tax payments.
Legal Exploration:
  • Exploration of Options: Consideration of legal avenues to address the ban, emphasizing adherence to established regulations.

What has the government done?

  • Within a week of the announcement of the ban, the State government gave a belated breathing period to all concerned.
  • It allowed retailers 15 days to withdraw any such food items from their shelves.
  • It asked the 92 state-based manufacturers who had been getting halal certification from non-certified organisations, to recall and repackage their products.

-Source: The Hindu


February 2024
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