Kathmandu : The government has been trying its best to resume the export of palm oil to India after India imposed a restriction on the import of palm oil on January 8 this year.

“The Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Supplies has recently sent a letter to the concerned Indian authorities through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs asking the latter to allow Nepali traders to export palm oil to India,” said Navaraj Dhakal, joint secretary at the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Supplies.

According to him, the concerned Indian authorities have not provided any official views responding to the letter. “So we are waiting the response of the Indian authority on this issue,” he said.

He, however, expressed his hope that India would allow Nepal to export palm oil as Nepal had met the value addition while refining the palm oil.

He said that they were also talking with the representatives of Embassy of Indian in Kathmandu on the issue.

“During the discussion with the representatives of the Indian Embassy, they said that they were talking with their authorities seriously on this issue,” Dhakal told The Rising Nepal.

According to him, packing of palm oil in Nepal was consumer based, not in bulk quantity; its refinery is quality and meets the provision of value addition to export.

Earlier, the Indian authorities had shown their concerns on the refinery process of palm oil. In such a situation, the Ministry had assured the Indian officials on the refinery process stating that Nepali industries were refining the palm oil as per the international standards.

He said that the restriction would affect the export trade of the country after the product had lost its market, and added that export of palm oil from Nepal was growing significantly for the last couples of months.

India imports most of its refined palm oil from Malaysia and crude palm oil from Indonesia. Indonesia and Malaysia are the top two producers of palm oil while India is its biggest importer.

As per the statistic of Trade and Export Promotion Centre, Nepal imported crude palm oil worth around Rs. 10 billion in the last five months. Indonesia is a major import partner of crude oil and India export partner.

According to traders, around 19 industries have been engaged in palm oil trade in the country.

Investment in these industries stood at Rs. 10 billion whereas around 10,000 people are getting jobs in the industry.

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