Sri Lanka prices not to fall after dropping ‘halal’ label

Mar 12, 2013 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s influential Ceylon Chamber of Commerce announced that the cost of halal certification was so “insignificant” that it was not even considered when calculating the cost of production of food sold locally. CCC chief Susantha Ratnayake, who is also the chairman of John Keells Holdings, said the widely used ‘halal’ label showing compliance with Islamic religious requirements issued by the All Ceylon Jamiyyathul Ulama (ACJU) cost next to nothing.

The ACJU along with the CCC and a few Buddhist monks announced Monday they have decided to stop ‘halal’ products getting into the local market bowing to pressure from anti-Muslim Buddhist nationalists who had called for a boycott of such products.

Reporters asked whether prices would fall after the withdrawal of the certificate.

“The cost of the halal certificate is so low no one includes that in the cost of production,” Ratnayake told reporters a press conference he chaired with ACJU clerics as well as Buddhist monks responding to queries whether prices would fall after the label was dropped.

Some Buddhist nationalists had said that the halal certificate was an indirect tax on non-Muslims, as it added to the cost of production.

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