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Industry seeks cap on refined palm oil imports

The edible oil industry has asked the government to restrict imports of refined palm oil and palmolein to a maximum of 50,000 tonnes per month in order to boost local refining capacity and support local oilseed growing farmers. This demand was made by the Solvent Extractors Association even as the government has put a virtual ban on imports of refined palm oil from Malaysia. India took this decision after voicing its objections to Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad’s criticism of its new citizenship law. Mohamad had also accused India earlier of invading the disputed Muslim-majority region of Kashmir. India is the world’s largest importer of palm oil, and sources more than 9 million tonnes annually, mainly from Indonesia and Malaysia.