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Nepal Seeks Early Lifting Of Ban On Export Of Refined Palm Oil To India

25 Jan 2020 10:41 am
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NEW DELHI - With India stopping importing refined palm oil from Nepal, the Himalayan nation's top export item, the government has formally asked New Delhi to revoke the ban, Nepal's Commerce and Supplies Secretary Baikuntha Aryal said on Friday.

Though the restriction was aimed at Malaysia, which criticised India's decisions on Kashmir and the new citizenship law, it has also hit Nepal.

Nepal had exported refined palm oil worth over Rs 11 billion to India in the first five months of this fiscal, making it the country's largest export item, Aryal said.

He said the Nepalese export of refined palm oil was "not disturbing" the Indian market.

Nepali traders have been exporting only in consumer packs of refined palm oil to India and Nepal is not a bulk exporter of the commodity.

"We''re not bulk exporters," he said, noting that Nepal exports palm oil in small packages ranging from one kg to 15 kg, which are widely used by Indian households.

As a result of the Indian ban, a lot of the refined palm oil was piling up at border and at the factories in Nepal.

Aryal hoped that India would soon revoke the ban on the import of refined palm oil from Nepal and his ministry was in touch with its Indian counterpart to resolve the issue.

Nepali traders import crude palm oil from Malaysia and Indonesia, process and package it here, before sending it to India. Traders were lured towards this business as India had imposed a duty of 40 percent on import of palm oil from Malaysia and Indonesia, the two largest producers of palm oil in the world.

Nepal's palm oil, on the other hand, was subject to a duty of just six percent in India under the bilateral trade treaty, the report said.

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