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In retaliation for Jammu and Kashmir stand, traders shun palm oil from Malaysia.

Date: 24-10-2019
Subject: In retaliation for Jammu and Kashmir stand, traders shun palm oil from Malaysia
NEW DELHI: Indian traders have stopped importing palm oil from Malaysia in retaliation for the latter joining Pakistan’s criticism of the Centre’s decisions on Jammu and Kashmir, even as Malaysia has made overtures to resolve the issue.

“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,” a statement issued by the Solvent Extractors’ Association (SEA), a body of vegetable oil industry and trade, said. Traders also said they were not entering into new contracts. 

“There is uncertainty among traders and as a precaution, we have told them not to go for new contracts till there is clarity,” B V Mehta, executive director of SEA, said, adding that the decision was in national interest. 

Government has no view on palm oil row: Piyush Goyal

Significantly, while the association said the initiative was prompted by traders’ sensitivity to the stand taken by the government which has made plain its annoyance with Malaysian PM Mahathir Mohamad’s criticism of the decision to end special status for J&K, commerce minister Piyush Goyal distanced the Modi regime from the move. “The government has no view... Maybe they (traders) did not like Malaysia’s stand (on Kashmir),” Goyal said. 

However, the Solvent Extractors’ Association (SEA) said, “Our government has not taken kindly to unprovoked pronouncements by the Malaysian PM and is contemplating some retaliatory action. It would be in the fitness of things if we avoid purchasing palm oil from Malaysia till such time clarity on the way forward emerges from the government.” 

Malaysian minister Teresa Kok’s statement asking SEA not to take “unilateral action” could be the first blink in the spat. A senior industry expert hinted that a Malaysian delegation is expected to land in Delhi “sooner than expected”. On Tuesday, Kok said, “I urge the Solvent Extractors’ Association not to take unilateral action and allow our respective governments to resolve the current situation.”

Source: timesofindia.indiatimes.com

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