Govt Has No Role In SEAI Advisory Refraining From Importing Malaysian Palm Oil: Goyal
India is the world's largest buyer of vegetable oils, importing about 9.5 million tonnes of which 3 million tonnes is imported by traders from Malaysia.
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The government has nothing to do with an advisory issued by the Solvent Extractors Association of India (SEAI) urging its members to stop importing palm oil from Malaysia, Union Minister for Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal has said.
"I do not have any view on this," he told ANI. "Maybe, they did not like the stand of Malaysia on Kashmir which is our internal issue. India has taken an important step for unity and sovereignty of the country." On October 21, India's top vegetable oil trade body had asked its members to refrain from importing palm oil from Malaysia.
The recent developments pertaining to strained relations between India and Malaysia has put a lot of responsibility on the industry in view of huge imports of palm oil, said the advisory issued by SEAI President Atul Chaturvedi.
"Our government has not taken kindly to unprovoked pronouncements by the Malaysian Prime Minister and is contemplating some retaliatory action. It would be in the fitness of things, as responsible Indian vegetable oil industry, that we avoid purchasing of palm oil from Malaysia till such time clarity on the way forward emerges from the Indian government," he said.
"In your own interest as well as a mark of solidarity with our nation, we should avoid purchases from Malaysia for the time being. We trust you would heed our advice," said the advisory.
SEAI has 875 members processing about 30 million tonnes of oilseed annually. India is the world's largest buyer of vegetable oils, importing about 9.5 million tonnes of which 3 million tonnes is imported by traders from Malaysia.
The country was Malaysia's third-largest export destination in 2018 for palm oil and palm-based products worth 1.63 billion dollars. Vegetable oil contributed 2.8 per cent of Malaysia's gross domestic product last year and 4.5 per cent to total exports.