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Chain of halal shops may open in Astana 25 июля 2014, 13:41

A chain of specialized halal shops may soon open in every neighborhood of Astana.
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Photo © Turar Kazangapov Photo © Turar Kazangapov

Halal shops may soon be opened in every neighborhood of Astana, Tengrinews reports citing the official website of the Akimat (municipal authorities).

Participants of Astana – Halal Territory round table discussion suggested setting up specialized halal shops in every neighborhood of the capital. Moreover, it was suggested to develop a legislation regulating labeling of halal goods and establish a Halal Industry Development Agency in Kazakhstan.

In addition, it is planned to raise awareness of the general public of the importance and benefits of halal goods consumption. The participants of the round table are considering negotiations with food producers to introduce halal food production.

Among the participants of the round table discussion there were representatives of the Assembly of Nations of Kazakhstan, Ministry of Industry and New Technologies, Ministry of Agriculture, Halal Industry Association, ethnic cultural associations, non-governmental organizations and businessmen.

Halal industry is a subject of much controversy. Kazakhstan does not have a legislation governing proper labeling of halal goods, so sometimes the labeling gets rather absurd, chairman of the Consumer Rights Protection Agency Bolatbek Kuandykov said.

“Halal goods are usually more expensive than common goods that are not halal. We have halal sausages and other food. We even have halal hotels. I have recently read about a foreign businessman who came to Kazakhstan and was surprised to find a halal service center for car repairs. Well, it sometimes is just absurd. We have to sort it out,” Kuandykov said.

He added that the legislation did not have a clear definition of halal goods. There was only a provision concerning production and sales of halal goods based on the rules established by religious organizations. And certificates for halal goods were issued based on those provisions.

In response, the chairman of the Halal Industry Kazakhstan Association Marat Sarsenbaev said that Kuandykov was just not aware of the details of the industry. Halal hotels have special prayer rooms and prohibit sexual services, the same goes for halal car repair services, he explained. These places have prayer rooms and a specialized cafeteria. Sarsenbaev added that 30% of goods at Kazakhstani market were halal goods.

By Gyuzel Kamalova

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