Monday, April 21, 2014

Buffalo meat plan to boost Halal Industry

LAHORE  - Vice Chancellor of University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences (UVAS), Prof Talat Naseer Pasha, has said that work on a buffalo meat plan is in progress under which country’s Halal meat will be introduced at high level to boost to meat farming.
Talking to APP here on Sunday, he said the growth rate of Halal meat export last year was 34 percent which could be raised to 55 percent which was the highest growth rate in any field of export.
He said that there was no any proper farming for meat in the country and animals were being exported after slaughtering without making pieces. Under the buffalo meat plan, quality Halal meat of calves would be presented at an exhibition to be held next month. All diplomats and businessmen will be invited to the exhibition planned by Punjab Halal Development Agency and UVAS, he added. The financial needs of the plan are being fulfilled by the USAID.
Last year, Pakistan exported red meat worth US$ 120 million which might be increased as the Halal export meat industry is sharply growing in the world, he added.
Responding to a question, he said that establishment of an authentication lab in the country was the need of the hour as worldwide demand for Halal products was sharply increasing.
He said the Halal industry was rapidly growing in the world as its trade volume was $.3 trillion and its 80 percent share was with non-Muslim states.
There is great potential in Pakistan to a take sizeable share in the trade, he added.
He said that setting up of Halal Regulatory Authority which was under consideration by the ministry concerned would give our Halal products an important marketing feature.
Prof. Pasha said that Middle East countries and Iran were big importers of Halal meat and Pakistan being a Muslim country in the region was in a position to export Halal meat to them at low costs as compared to European countries.
He said that UVAS was providing certification facilities thorough its international standard lab which had been accreditation by WHO.


Thursday, April 17, 2014

Global Halal Cosmetics and Personal Care Market 2014-2018 - Increase of Muslim Population to Spur Growth

The Global Halal Cosmetics and Personal Care market to grow at a CAGR of 13% to 2018.
One of the major drivers in the market is the growing Muslim population. This increase in the Muslim population has increased the consumption of these products as Muslims are the potential and primary consumers of the products. The major consumers of these products are the APAC region and the MEA region as these are the densely-populated Muslim regions.
The rapid growth in non-Muslim countries offers huge potential for the Global Halal Cosmetics and Personal Care market. Though Halal cosmetics witness huge demand in regions populated by Muslims, a significant contribution is being witnessed from the non-Muslim economies. Currently, Halal cosmetics and personal care products are widely accepted by other communities as they are considered safe, of high quality, and to have been prepared using hygienic procedures. Moreover, the integrity of the cosmetics is maintained during the production process. Hence, there is huge potential for the global market to grow during the forecast period because of the increased acceptance of and demand for the products in the developed non-Muslim countries.
Further, the report states that the certification of products by authentic bodies is a major challenge hindering the growth of the market. Certification issues are generally noticed in products exported by local markets. These certification issues may lead to numerous consumers losing confidence in the products' Halal status and stop purchasing them.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Halal vaccines “to be ready in three years”

The world’s first halal vaccines, currently being developed by Saudi Arabia and Malaysia, are expected to be ready in three years, reported the Malaysian news agency Bernama.
An unnamed Saudi corporation is reportedly ready to invest $100 million (72.1 million euros) in collaboration with the Malaysian Industry Development Corporation (HDC) to develop vaccines meant for treating meningitis, hepatitis and meningococcal. Existing vaccines for the three diseases are currently pork-based; pork is forbidden in Islam. The need for meningitis vaccines in particularly is therefore a pressing one, since it is required for those who head to Mecca for the annual Muslim pilgrimage (Hajj).
Local and international health scientists, in coordination with Shariah experts, will be producing the alternative vaccines from animal extracts slaughtered according to Islamic teachings.
“The halal vaccines will help alleviate fears and doubts among Muslims on the integrity of the products,” said the Malaysian minister of international trade and industry.
HDC, established in 2006 to coordinate the overall development of the halal industry, will be working with the Saudi company to set up a production facility for the development of the vaccines at the Enstek Halal Park, Malaysia.
“Pork-free vaccines will be in high demand, not only among Muslims but also non-Muslims. People will go for the alternative once they know about it. After developing these three vaccines, we will continue to produce others,” said Datuk Seri Jamil Bidin, HDC Chief Executive Officer.
The announcement of a three-year time frame for the halal vaccines was made by the Malaysian trade and industry minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed on the opening day of the World Halal Week 2014 (WHW 2014)currently taking place in Kuala Lumpur.
WHW 2014, a Malaysian initiative, runs from April 9 to April 12 and aims to bring together business corporations to negotiate and promote halal production programs around the world.
This year’s WHW has expanded to six halls with 620 booths, an increase of approximately 19.7 per cent in comparison with 2013, according to Bernama.

Friday, April 11, 2014

ICD and Emirates Future sign MoU on halal food industry

ABU DHABI, April 10th 2014 (WAM) -- Under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs, the Islamic Corporation for the Development of the private sector (ICD), a member of the Islamic Development Bank Group, and the Emirates Future (EF) signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) has to promote economic development and encourage the flow of investments between Member countries through the creation, expansion and modernisation of institutions and private sector companies.
ICD and EF would like to establish a strategic partnership in order to strengthen the system of food security in the Islamic World and developing the halal food industry in the world. In addition, they aim to improve halal food quality and reliability using the latest food technology, agricultural research and certification systems around the world.
Practically, the parties agreed to develop a plan of joint cooperation to enter new markets, investments insurance and building strategic alliances with the relevant companies in ICD members? countries. Furthermore, ICD will examine the possibility to establish an investment partnership with EF in order to create and manage hubs of manufacturing, packaging, certification and distribution of halal food around the world. The memorandum of understanding included the support of food security and agribusiness fund which ICD is creating with a group of investors in the Gulf region. In addition, the parties will study jointly the possibility of establishing an international company to manufacture and distribute Halal Gelatin.
Mr. Khaled Al-Aboodi, the Chief Executive Officer of ICD, commented, "The cooperation between ICD and EF will rend their activities more effective and useful for the sectors of food security and halal food all over the world. The partners fully realize the multiple benefits that they will gain through this cooperation." H.E Humaid Al Neyadi, Chairman of Emirates Future Group, commented that, "the coordination between the private sector and the international development institutions has a big role in developing the food security sector in the Islamic world and boosting the development of the halal food industry around the world, including the support to overcome the obstacles and ensure the economic feasibility of this sector." He also assured the role of the United Arab Emirates in supporting food security activities worldwide.
The parties agreed to meet after the signing of this memorandum in order to develop a detailed road map for the implementation of this cooperation framework.


Monday, April 7, 2014

Vast opportunities to promote livestock, Halal products in Punjab: Shahbaz

Sunday, April 06, 2014 - Lahore—Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif has said that vast opportunities for promotion of livestock and Halal products sectors exist in Punjab. He said that Pakistan can earn huge foreign exchange through increasing exports of Halal products. He welcomed the cooperation of Malaysian group in Halal products.

He expressed these views during a meeting with the delegation of prominent Malaysian group MMC Corporation. The delegation included Chairman MMC Corporation Syed Mukhtar-ul-Bukhari, Regional President for Asia Yahya Idrees, Ali Mehmood and other officials. Provincial Minister for Education Rana Mashhood Ahmad and Director General LDA were also present on the occasion. MMC Corporation expressed keen interest in enhancing cooperation in Halal products and construction sector in Punjab.

Talking to Malaysian delegation, the Chief Minister said that Punjab is an agrarian province and its economy mostly depends upon agri-products and livestock. He said that Punjab government is taking solid measures for the promotion of Halal products and uplift of livestock sector. He said that there is great potential with regard to Halal products and livestock in Punjab. 

The Chief Minister said that a modern slaughterhouse has been set up at a cost of two billion rupees in Lahore where meat is being provided to the citizens according to hygienic principles and international standard. He said that Punjab government is also paying attention to the exports of Halal products. 

He said that there is great demand of Halal products in Malaysia and Gulf states. Shahbaz Sharif while welcoming the cooperation of Malaysian group in Halal products said that MMC Corporation should also consider the possibility of cooperation with Punjab government in other sectors. He assured that all possible facilities would be provided to the Malaysian group on priority basis.

Chairman MMC Corporation, Syed Mukhtar-ul-Bukhari said that development vision of Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif has greatly impressed him and his group will promote cooperation with Punjab government in Halal meat and poultry.


Saturday, April 5, 2014

MIHAS 2014 set in conjunction with World Halal Week

World Halal Week 2014 (WHW 2014) is set to open its doors to welcome thousands of participants and guests consisting of local and foreign companies, business leaders, scholars, government agencies and trade organizations from all over the world.
The WHW 2014 will run from April 9 to 12 at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre (KLCC) with the theme "Energizing halal business growth.’’
A collaborative effort under the patronage of the Malaysian Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI), WHW 2014 is organized with the coordination of two different organizations - Malaysia International Halal Showcase (MIHAS) by Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (MATRADE) and the World Halal Conference (WHC) by Halal Industry Development Corporation (HDC).
Last year, MIHAS 2013 recorded some RM411 million in negotiated and immediate sales during incoming buying mission programme (IBM) bringing the total sales for both IBM and during the 4-day exhibition to RM798.73 million.
Hadzizi Noor Shahidan of the corporate communication unit responsible for the media hospitality program said: "For 2013, eight companies from Saudi Arabia participated in MIHAS 20; most of the companies were interested in importing food products such as sauces and paste, blended oil, soap noodles, other oleo chemicals, palm oil-based products, preparfood, health drinks, refine palm oil, cooking oil other, cooking oil other than palm oil as well as first-aid kit of toiletries such as cotton buds, cotton balls, nail polish remover with sponge, bar toilet soap.
In addition, some companies were interested to explore on products such as perfumery, cosmetics and personal and body care for face scrub, body scrub, hair gel, hair food, hair serum, hair mousse, hair care, body care, nail care, hygienic products."
Speaking to Arab News, he said: "In terms of import value last year, the participants recorded an amount $2.40 million out of $128 million, which is almost 2 percent of the total purchasing value. This year, MIHAS 2014, as part of MIHAS’s attraction, the incoming buying mission (IBM) organized by MATRADE, brings more than 500 pre-selected foreign buyers every year to partake in personalized and pre-arranged one-to-one business meetings with local manufacturers of halal products and services.
Targeted to bring in thousands of delegates and exhibitors from over 50 countries, The World Halal Week, Kuala Lumpur Malaysia 2014 is “definitely an event not to be missed.”
"MIHAS 2014 has expanded its space to provide an additional 102 booths to a total of 620 booths this year as compared to 518 booths last year. This is to accommodate to the high demand for halal products that has expanded beyond food products into pharmaceutical, cosmetics, personal care products and financial services.
MIHAS 2014 also welcomes Saudi Economic Development Authority (SEDA) participation this year with 40 companies. Their presence will help to create more opportunities for Malaysian producers to collaborate and tap into the huge halal market demand within the Gulf Cooperation Council," he added.
Given the unique and growing trend of the halal economy, Malaysia is always at the forefront in developing this industry in totality, which is not only confined to a single sector but multiple sectors that will continue to diversify over time. However, while the potential of the halal industry remains robust, there are still many hurdles to overcome to realize the full potential of this sector.
The WHW 2014 is organized solely to ensure that despite being a composite industry, the halal industry will continue to evolve, providing opportunities for businesses to expand and excel further while addressing the challenges that it confronts.
MIHAS has grown significantly since its inception 11 years ago. The presence of a large number of exhibitors, both local and international as well as trade buyers, indicate that MIHAS has established itself as the premier international exhibition for halal products and services.
MIHAS is one of the significant contributions to the global halal industry where it completes the halal eco-system by being an excellent platform for halal manufacturers, suppliers and distributors from all over the world to gather, meet, network and trade with halal industry stakeholders. WHW 2014 hopes to continue leading the halal industry, giving positive impact to the global market, driven by these faith-based commercial activities.


Wednesday, April 2, 2014

David Cameron says halal meat will be protected as long as he Prime Minister

David Cameron has said he will keep Halal meat “safe in Britain” and would never impose restrictions on religious slaughter as long as he is Prime Minister.

He also said he was concern by “intolerance” towards Muslims in some parts of the UK, and pledged to “stamp out once and for all the intolerance that blights people's lives,” the Huffing-ton Post reported.

His comments, made during a speech to the Muslim News Awards for Excellence in London on Tuesday, mirror promises he made in Israel last month in regard to kosher meat.

He told the audience on Tuesday: "Really tackling Islam phobia means making absolutely sure that no Muslim is held back from living their life or reaching their goals, simply because of the faith they follow.
"Soon the food will arrive and you will all be able to eat. Let me make it absolutely clear, that while I am Prime Minister of this country, Halal is safe in Britain."

Last month, Denmark banned the slaughter of animals for food that are not stunned, therefore implicating kosher and Halal meat.
In response to the legislation, Britain’s top vet made a controversial call for the method to also be banned in the UK.

John Blackwell, president-elect of the British Veterinary Association, told The Times that the religious slaughter of poultry, sheep and cattle caused unnecessary suffering to animals.

But religious group defend the method, and maintain that animals are killed by a trained professional and lose consciousness within seconds.


Tuesday, April 1, 2014

World Halal Food Council sees Italy as potential Halal hub

(ANSAmed) - BARI, MARCH 31 - "Islamic finance and capital are ready to pull Europe out of crisis" and "Italy in particular" as long as the countries follow Halal food standards ("conformance" in Arabic) in "production, logistics and commercialization" consistent with the precepts of Sharia, the laws that establish what is licit or prohibited for a Muslim. This is the message of the World Halal Food Council (WHFC), which was held in Rome March 26-30.

The event organized by the Italian section of the Halal International Authority (HIA), the only organism recognized for the quality certification for products according to Islamic standards, gathered together representatives of the 57 Islamic states of the Organization for Islamic Cooperation (OIC) for the first time in Italy. "We are willing to invest in Italy, which we want to see become the hub of the Halal market in the Mediterranean," explained the Saudi sheik Fahah Alared, a member of the Committee for Islamization of Banks.
Halal products are a global market worth "13 trillion per year, growing 15% every year, reaching two billion Muslims," he added.
An important step was made during the Roman WHFC meeting.
"We have signed an protocol agreement with the Government Agency of Malaysia for the development of the Halal market (and) for the birth of the 'Italy Halal Hub'".
In this way "Malaysia, the largest Halal market in the world, will make its experience available to Italy, which will become the leading Halal hub in Europe, serving countries of the Mediterranean, Southeast Asia, the Balkans and obviously European countries," the sheik added. Development would be based on "Islamic financing, which does not allow the application of interest, as it would be a capital sin" and see "investment through equity partnerships and the acquisition of company shares" with direct action "also in failing companies".
Interested sectors range from food to clothing, from tourism to medicines, from cosmetics to body treatments. Among the 270 Italian companies that are already Halal-certified, many have seen production "grow to point of not being able to keep up with orders coming from southeast Asia, Malaysia, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia," according to Alared. These companies would meet with sheiks "willing to open new branches and hire personnel". "We are ready to invest also in infrastructure, but Italy must guarantee us official recognition of the Halal market, making certification mandatory among companies that are interested". 

Source : 

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Third International Halal Conference, Meat Festival in May

Punjab Halal Development Agency (PHDA) and Halal Research Council (HRC) jointly announced the 3rd International Halal Conference and Meat Festival in May 2014 to showcase the Livestock and allied industries potential of Pakistan among international community in association with PAMCO, USAID, UVAS and Government of Punjab. 

Agency facilitates more than 50 international potential buyers and exhibitors to visit Pakistan and observe the Livestock experience and Meat Festival to appraise Pakistani meat taste to foreigners. PHDA has also planned field visits for the foreigners including Livestock farms, abattoirs and allied industries to highlight the latent of the industry. Halal conference is scheduled from May 22 to 23 at International Expo Centre Lahore and Meat Festival on 24th May at Serena Islamabad. 

Chairman PHDA, Justice Khalil-ur-Rehman said Government of Punjab is striving to boost up Halal industry of the country and this event is a flagship for the same. He further said all stakeholders must participate in the conference to showcase their profile otherwise they will probably loose international contacts of meat importers. Referentially, Meat, Poultry, Dairy and by-products, Cosmetics, Pharmaceuticals, Beverages, Islamic Financing and other related industries are eligible for stalls. Last date for stall reservation is 30th, said a spokesman of the PHDA here on Thursday. 


Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Get Pak Share In Halal Market

Tuesday, March 25, 2014 - MINISTER for Science and Technology Zahid Hamid has drawn attention of both the Government and the private sector towards huge Halal food potential of the country and the existing meagre 0.5% share in Halal food market of the globe, which is worth over three trillion dollar. This is really a pathetic state of affairs as market experts believe that Pakistan can play a major role in the global Halal meat industry and has the potential to become a market leader since it has all the required ingredients.

Pakistan is the fifth largest milk producer and has more than 160 million quality live 
stock including 71 million cows and buffaloes and 89 million goats and sheep. Halal is not only the name of meat but more than 26 Halal industries are also based on bi-products of Halal meat like casings, bone crashing, gelatine, sausages, leather and other industries are associated with it besides a host of Halal dairy products that are in great demand almost in every part of the world. The concept of Halal is founded on Islamic ideals of purity and cleanliness, on the promotion of health and wholesomeness, a set of ethical values about food production known as tayyab that should, these days, appeal to all consumers who care about provenance, sustainability, respect for the environment and humane animal husbandry. This means an unlimited market all over the world and this can surely be tapped through production of quality meat, value addition and milk and dairy products. The proposed legislation for establishment of Pakistan Halal Authority can prove to be first step towards this direction. We hope that the Government and the proposed Authority as well as private sector would lay emphasis on research and marketing, address issues relating to certification of Halal food, improve slaughtering and processing methods and launch campaign to counter misconceptions about Islamic way of slaughtering. Some estimates suggest that the country can earn additional six to seven billion dollars worth of foreign exchange by tapping the global Halal market and this call for a comprehensive strategy by tapping of Islamic banking. 


Monday, March 24, 2014

Pakistan shares 0.5pc only in Halal food market: Zahid

ISLAMABAD - Federal Minister for Science & Technology Zahid Hamid has said Pakistan despite having great potential in Halal food was sharing only 0.5 per cent of international market as other countries’ share was $ 3 trillion annually.

The minister was speaking at a meeting held here under his chairmanship to discuss draft bill of Pakistan Halal Authority 2014. The meeting was attended by Kamran Ali Qureshi, Federal Secretary Ministry of Science and Technology, Justice (retd) Khalil ur Rehman, Chairman Punjab Halal Regularity Authority, representatives of federal ministries of science & technology, religious affairs, commerce, finance and Establishment Division, and all the four provinces and Giligit-Baltistan. The proposed draft was discussed in detail. Various suggestions presented by the representatives of ministries and provinces were incorporated in it.  The main purpose of the proposed act is to promote the Halal sector and ensure implementation of uniform Halal standards and thereby promote import and export trade and commerce with foreign countries and Inter-provincial trade and commerce in Halal articles and processes.
The draft bill was unanimously approved by all the representatives of the ministries and provinces and will be presented in the parliament for its enactment.


Wednesday, March 19, 2014

WHA to Review Global Halal Market

Wednesday, March 19, 2014 - Karachi—Over 140 scholars and experts would participate in the OIC_SMIC World Halal Assembly (WHA) to review global Halal market and quality assurance to hit the choosy market. To be held on June 3-4, 2014 in Islamabad. The global assembly is being organized jointly by Halal Association of Pakistan (HAP) and Pakistan Standards and Quality Control Authority (PSQCA) which will be the first ever World Halal Assembly duly supported by SMIIC (Standards & Metrology Institute of Islamic Countries), the OIC body mandated to work on Halal Standards and Accreditation on behalf of OIC. (Organization of Islamic Countries) 

The Secretary 
General and CEO of the Halal Association, Asad Sajjad said that the 8th Board of Directors and 6th General Assembly Meeting of SMIIC would also be held along with the Halal Assembly, making it the biggest Halal event of the region. The Assembly would be held with the support of following institutions: OIC, SMIIC (Standards and Metrology Institute for Islamic Studies), IDB (Islamic Development Bank); ICCIA (Islamic Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture); ICDT (Islamic Centre for Development of Trade); ITC (International Trade Centre); HDC (Halal Development Council); GSO (Gulf Standardization Organization); IIHO (International Islamic Halal Organization); ESMA (Emirate Standards & Metrology Authority); DAC (Dubai Accreditation Centre); and Halal fraternity from all over the world. It is expected that more than 150 delegates would attend this Assembly from 40 countries. The event would provide excellent opportunities to the Pakistani exporters, traders and government departments to interact and take advantage of the expert gathering.

Objectives of the event are to invite international Halal industry experts to give comprehensive knowledge to the audience, in addition to bring Pakistan on the Global Halal Trade map and inform the opportunities available for the exporters of Pakistan in the trillions 
dollar Halal market to give a boost to the efforts of government to achieve desired export results. The Assembly will focus on issues and challenges related to Halal business, certification, accreditation and marketing. It would also highlight the role of trade bodies in promotion of Halal trade and highlight the issues, which could be taken up by the government for the next budget and promotion of Halal exports of Pakistan.


Monday, March 17, 2014

Pakistanis invited to China Halal Food Expo

LAHORE: The presence of over 20 million Muslims in China offer a huge potential for the halal food market, an opportunity Pakistani businessmen should avail.
This was stated by the Qinhai Chamber of International Commerce (QCIC) Chairman Xihui Wang, who was heading a 20-member delegation, while speaking at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) on Tuesday.
Xihui Wang said that a big halal food exhibition is being held in the Qinhai province in May and it would be a great opportunity for the Pakistani businesses. He said that another exhibition titled ‘Green Economy’ is scheduled for June while a carpet expo will be held in August.
The chairman invited Pakistani businessmen to all three exhibitions, saying that Chinese were quite keen to do business with their Pakistani counterparts.
Speaking on the occasion, LCCI Acting President Mian Tariq Misbah said that rapid economic globalisation and regional integration provides a good opportunity for further cooperation between the two countries.
He said that the visit by the Chinese delegation would pave way for active collaboration in different sectors including halal foods, livestock, carpets, pharmaceutical, textile products and machinery. It will also lay a solid foundation in expanding the scope of people-to-people contact including businessmen from both the countries, Misbah added.
“Joint ventures in (various) sectors with Chinese investors will certainly boost production, employment and exports earning of the country. We would like to play a role in materialising these business deals.”
He informed the Chinese delegation that LCCI has established a Mediation Centre in August 2012. There are more than 40 accredited mediators registered with LCCI who can help local, national and international businessmen for out of court settlement.
Speaking on the occasion, the LCCI Vice President Kashif Anwar sought the help of Chinese businessmen for cooperation with the LCCI Mediation Centre, saying some Chinese companies even do not reply to letters from LCCI Mediation Centre therefore it is requested that the message should be conveyed to the Chambers of Commerce in China.
He said that the quality of goods and machinery, being supplied to Pakistan was not up to the mark and the Chinese businessmen should look into this area.


Posted By: Rabia HRC

Friday, March 14, 2014

Poverty in Muslim World is Rapidly Increasing: Zubair Mughal

Poverty can easily be driven away through Islamic Microfinance

Zubair Mughal, CEO, AlHuda CIBE is receiving the plaque of appreciate from H.E Dr. Mounir Tlili, Minister of Religious Affairs of Tunisia during Int’l Islamic Microfinance Symposium which was organized by Islamic Development Bank, Tunisian Association of Islamic Economics & GIZ on in Tunis.

(Tunis) Half of global poverty reside in Muslim world while the Muslim population is 24% of the total global population, if the dangerously increasing poverty in the Muslim community is not controlled soon then it will be alarming. These concerns were addressed by Muhammad Zubair Mughal, Chief Executive Officer, AlHuda Centre of Islamic Banking and Economics while speaking at Islamic Microfinance Symposium that was held at Tunis – Tunisia which was organized by Tunis Association of Islamic Economics with association of Islamic Development Bank (IDB) and German Donor Agency GIZ. 

He mentioned the various causes of rapidly increasing poverty in the Muslim world i.e. lack of education, lack of employment political instability and so on. But on the other hand, the main hitch is unavailability of the proper financial products which are in line with the Muslim’s religious values and social norms. Micro financing is not utilized by Muslim population due to interest and thus is excluded from financial inclusion. On the other hand, Muslim world can be led out of the poverty by extending financial inclusion through Islamic microfinance. He said that the according to the statistical information of multilateral development agencies, 300 million people were graduated from Micro to SME level in past year, and the countries mentioned in the list are China, India, Brazil and Chili etc. but when we look at the enlisted countries we will come to know that then countries mentioned in the list are not Muslim and by this we will come to know that the poverty is decreasing in non Muslim countries and increasing in Muslim world. 

He further added that unfortunately, Islamic microfinance is not given the proper place in the poverty alleviation strategies of International development agencies (e.g World Bank, UNDP, IFC, USAID etc) in the way it should have been given. Islamic microfinance is just 1% of the total micro financing of the world that is just 1 Billion USD. He said that there is no religion of poverty but religion plays an important role in poverty alleviation. This is the reason; Islamic microfinance should be given a proper place in the modes of poverty alleviation through which both Muslims and non-Muslims can take benefit. He added that there are various non Muslim countries where Islamic micro fiancĂ© has been used so effectively to alleviate poverty. 

Experts from 15 countries including Morocco, Kenya, Yemen and Pakistan had taken part in the symposium. A mutual declaration about the legal frame work of Islamic microfinance was given at the end of the event. 

Kangaroo meat ‘Halal,’ Turkey's Religious Affairs Directorate says

Turkey's Religious Affairs Directorate (Diyanet) has issued a fatwa stating that kangaroo meat and grasshoppers are “Halal” food, but Islam bans eating “badgers, martens, weasels, beavers and sea otters.”

“Islamic scholars agree that ‘Halal’ animals that are not mentioned in the Quran and in the hadith [the sayings of the Prophet Muhammad] are those that don’t eat feces and carcasses, and which are therefore neither wild nor coarse,” the Diyanet’s High Committee of Religious Affairs said in response to a citizen’s question.

As such, the fatwa continues, kangaroo is classified in the same category with other “grass eating, clean animals like deer, gazelle and antelope.” Grasshopper is also categorized as “Halal” because “there is a special provision in the Sunnah,” it adds, referring to the way of life prescribed as normative for Muslims on the basis of the teachings and practices of Prophet Muhammad.

The fatwa describes badgers, martens, weasels, beavers and sea otters as “naturally wild.” Although there are differing views among Islamic scholars related to these animals, the fatwa argues, “As these animals are wild and carnivorous, it’s not appropriate to eat their meat.”

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Islamic Banking need to be promoted in SME sector

Saturday, March 08, 2014 - Karachi—The Union of Small and Medium Enterprises (UNISAME) has submitted recommendations for the serious consideration of the policy makers in the forthcoming budget and trade policies in order to stimulate the economy which can only be done by promoting the majority SME sector wholeheartedly and giving them a comfortable environment. The Union believes that SME promotion and development is no charity but it is the right of every SME and responsibility of the state to uplift the sector. The state must provide them equitably and make dedicated efforts to make doing business easy.

The SME sector includes traders, manufacturers, farmers and service providers. There are millions of SMEs all over Pakistan including many hospitals schools and consultants’ services. We were told 15 years ago that they were 3.2 millions SMEs but we are sure if you also include the SME farmers there would be almost 6 millions by now. We have created awareness about the importance of the sector and identified the impediments and have submitted recommendations every year for inclusion in the budget, trade policy, industrial policy and have urged the ministry of industries to revisit the SME policy made in 2007. We keep voicing the requirements of the sector all the time. The SME issues are poor law and order, loadsheding, poor infrastructure, lack of finance, information, transfer of technology, incentives and defective taxation system other than the corruption, non implementation of SME policy in right earnest. The union has submitted the following recommendations to SMEDA for onward submission to the concerned policy makers.

Law & Order: We have suggested the formation of SME Liaison Committee (SME-LC) on the pattern of the CPLC to arrange collective protection squads in industrial areas as the SMEs are threatened by gangsters and politically patronized miscreants. The SMEs need a strong committee to work as liaison between the police and the entrepreneurs and to exert pressure on the police to trace the culprits and prosecute them. The SME-LC chief must get the status of honorary first class magistrate to prevail on the police department and the relevant S.H.Os. 

Energy Crisis: We have suggested that alternate energy systems must be promoted and those SMEs willing to install alternate energy devices of solar, wind, Biomass be encouraged and the government needs to exempt the import of alternate energy systems on duty and leasing facilities must be provided on special affordable mark-up. Finance: This is a very important issue, as banks are demanding immovable property as collateral. The banks need to be educated on the subject of SME financing and taught risk management. The commercial banks need training and education on collateral management, warehouse financing, also financing on the basis of positive cash flows and the government must promote Islamic financing, leasing, hire purchase, commercial property leasing. The union has urged the government not to privatize the SME Bank but make it an SME Bank in the real sense.

The union has also urged the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) to establish the SME Guarantee Insurance Company to insure SME financing and indemnify the banks against default by the borrowers. The SME needs venture capital and the system of venture capital needs to be promoted. The SMEs are looking forward to the establishment of the Exim bank as promised in the trade policy. Infrastructure: The infrastructure is poor and the SMEs are disabled due to poor infrastructure in the industrial areas. There is need for industrial estates and the need for government to allot land at concession for industrial estates. The leasing companies must adopt commercial property leasing to finance the SMEs to buy shops, workshops, warehouses and factories under commercial property leasing.

Technology Transfer: The SMEs need to import technology to manufacture quality goods and the government should facilitate collaboration with advanced countries to enable SMEs to manufacture goods with indigenous raw material and also import substitution goods in Pakistan.