February 9: India has given permission to resume the import of palm oil from Nepal. With this decision, Nepal’s export of refined palm oil to India is all set to resume from Monday (February 10) after a month-long ban.
India’s Directorate of Foreign Trade has granted permission to its local entrepreneurs to import palm oil from Nepal. More than half a dozen entrepreneurs of India have already taken permission to import palm oil from Nepal, informed Prabhu Dayal Agrawal, operator of Birgunj-based Annapurna Vegetable Products Pvt Ltd.
However, export of palm oil has not resumed as of Saturday. Agrawal says that they have not been able to export palm oil despite the lift on ban due to procedural delays at Raxaul customs point across the Birgunj border. Another businessman of Birgunj informed New Business Age that they are preparing to export palm oil from Monday.
Pradeep Muraraka, operator of Shree Ram Refinery, said that the cargo vehicles carrying palm oil from Nepal are likely to get entry to India from Monday.
“India has already given permission to some companies to import palm oil from Nepal,” said Muraraka.
State Minister for Industry, Commerce and Supplies Moti Dugad confirmed that they had received information of India lifting ban on import of palm oil from Nepal.
“We were in constant touch with Indian officials. They informed us about the latest development,” said Dugad.
The ministry had made efforts to resume supply of palm oil ever since India imposed the ban. State Minister Dugad said Nepal had to work hard to get the ban lifted.
“Hopefully, there will not be any more hurdles in the export of palm oil. Nepali exporters can supply palm oil to India at zero percent customs duty,” said Dugad.
So far, Indian companies have already received permission to import 40,000 metric tons of palm oil from Nepal.
Nepal enjoys the right to export palm oil to India at zero percent customs duty under the South Asia Free Trade Agreement (SAFTA) framework. However, Nepal has not been able to export refined palm oil to India since the Department of Commerce of India issued a circular to halt the import of palm oil on January 8.