India To Restrict Malaysian Imports over Kashmir Criticism

India  is considering restricting imports of some products from Malaysia including palm oil, according to government and industry sources, in reaction to the Southeast Asian country’s leader criticising New Delhi for its actions in Indian-occupied Kashmir.

India is looking for ways to limit palm oil imports and may place restrictions on other goods from the country, a government source and an industry source.

India’s government was angered after Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohammad  said last month at the  United Nations  that India had “invaded and occupied” Jammu and Kashmir and asked New Delhi to work with Pakistan to resolve the issue.

Palm oil accounts for nearly two-thirds of India’s total edible oil imports. India buys more than nine million tonnes of palm oil annually, mainly from Indonesia and Malaysia.

India, the world’s biggest importer of edible oils, is planning to substitute Malaysian palm oil with supplies of edible oils from countries like Indonesia, Argentina and Ukraine, the sources said.

In the first nine months of 2019, India was the biggest buyer of Malaysian palm oil, purchasing 3.9 million tonnes, according to data compiled by the Malaysian Palm Oil Board.

A spokeswoman for India’s commerce ministry said the ministry could not comment on things that were under consideration.

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