India bans palm oil from Malaysia, strongest action by PM Modi

India has recently imposed restrictions on imports of palm oil from Malaysia. Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir bin Mohamad spoke over Kashmir issue in the UN where he said, “India ‘invaded, occupied’ Kashmir”.

On January 8, 2020, India imposed restrictions on the import of Refined Palm Oil from Malaysia after Mahathir bin Mohamad, Prime Minister of Malaysia criticized the Government of India over the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and went on criticizing the Narendra Modi led government over Kashmir issues. The PM has stated. India is the world’s biggest buyer of edible oils but now it has changed rules that traders say effectively ban imports of refined palm oil from Malaysia. 

The world’s biggest buyer of edible oils has already effectively stopped importing palm oil from Malaysia by asking Indian importers to look elsewhere. New Delhi is now looking forward to imposing restrictions on buying petroleum, aluminum ingots, liquefied natural gas, computer parts and microprocessors from Malaysia.

The government is also planning to cut imports of oil and steel products from Turkey, one of the officials said. “Our government has not taken kindly the comments of Malaysia and Turkey and we will restrict trade from both the countries,” one of the officials said.

After the restrictions imposed by the Indian government, the tension between India and Malaysia has escalated in recent days. Turkey has backed Pakistan over Kashmir issue and it is also against the blacklist of Pakistan by Financial Action Task Force. According to Indian trade data, the overall imports from Malaysia and Turkey have declined.

Now, Malaysia may use diplomatic channels as it moves to resolve concerns over palm oil exports after India imposed some curbs last week, a minister said on Thursday. This move by the government will help India’s refining industry facing survival issues due to imports of cheaper Refined Palm Oil from Malaysia. This ban will help to cope with the unemployment problem. The ban will also support PM Modi’sMake in India’ initiative. 

Writer, historian, and activist Dharam Sikarwar is a very active author The Youth. He writes on national and international issues, environment, politics. He is an avid book reader as well.