Punjab Halal Development Agency formed

PUNJAB Halal Development Agency (PHDA) has formally been notified with the aim of prescribing Halal standards, auditing and certification procedure and system.

The PHDA was initially notified as Halal R&D Cell under Punjab Agriculture and Meat Company (PAMCO) but now its scope has been broadened.

The new body will be head by learned Shariah Scholar Justice (Retd) Khalil-ur-Rehman Khan. Technical experts having diversified background are being included in his team. Under the administrative control of Provincial Livestock and Dairy Development Department, its secretariat is being established at Punjab Agriculture and Meat Company.

The creation of PHDA has been termed a step toward making Pakistan as Halal hub by opening new vistas for entering the global Halal market while serving the domestic consumer market. The demand for healthy and safe agro-livestock food products is increasing rapidly with increasing population growth rate and socio-economic conditions. This will also open up new economic opportunities and employment for the youth and traders. PHDA, being a leading entity of government of the Punjab, has been established for coordinating overall development of Halal industry and devising a comprehensive strategy to spearhead the coordination and facilitation in Halal sector through R&D interventions in collaboration with national and international research institutes.

Moreover, the agency has been given the task of prescribing standards and Halal certification of the various products, including meat, dairy, food and beverages, fruit/vegetables, grains and oil seeds, ingredient sector, animal by-products, consumer-care product and pharmaceuticals. According to the Terms of References of PHDA, the newly established agency will maintain a continuing working relationship and coordinate with the other provincial authorities to facilitate and promote Halal certification besides implementing the accreditation process and procedures for the appointment of inspection bodies.

It will issue Halal certificate, certifying that the products listed meet Islamic guidelines laid down by the Shariah.

The agency will prescribe the rules and procedure for issuing the Halal certification besides prescribing Halal logo and authorise use of the Halal logo by the Halal certificate holders.