Indian Traders have decided to boycott the import of Malaysian Palm Oil over the remarks made by Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad on the issue of Kashmir. The advisory to boycott from the Solvent Extractors’ Trade Association of India comes in light of present reports that the Indian government is contemplating imposing formal trade sanctions on Malaysia for its aggressive anti-India stance on Kashmir.
The Solvent Extractors’ Association of India has 875 members, the body processes approximately 30 million tons of oilseed annually. India is currently the world’s largest buyer of vegetable oils, importing about 9.5 million tons of palm oil annually, out of which 3 million tons is imported by traders from Malaysia. The advisory issued by Atul Chaturvedi, president of the organisation says, “The recent developments pertaining to strained relations between our nation and Malaysia have put a lot of responsibility on our industry in view of [the] huge imports of palm oil from that country.”
However, Mahathir on Tuesday had said that he will not retract his statement despite the unprecedented call to boycott Malaysian palm oil was made Indian traders. The top Indian vegetable trade oil body on Monday had asked its members to stop importing Malaysian palm oil as a mark of solidarity,
Raveesh Kumar, spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs said that the statement was not in line with the facts of the situation and said, “We hope Malaysia will do serious introspection on the position it has taken.” New Delhi has cited that trade cannot be “impervious” to the state of the bilateral relationship and deemed the remarks “unacceptable.”
At the session of the United Nations General Assembly last month, Mahathir had said that India by abrogating Article 370 had illegally “invade and occupied” Kashmir.