Kathmandu, May 24: Nepal government has asked Indian government to allow Nepali traders to export tea and refined palm oil in the Indian market.
According to a top source at the Ministry of Commerce and Supplies, the ministry wrote two separate letters to related Indian government agencies through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs last week asking to allow Nepali traders to export tea and refined palm oil in the Indian market. Refined palm oil and tea are two top items from Nepal to be exported to India.
The development comes amid reports that India stopped importing refined palm oil and tea from Nepal.
India stopped importing refined palm oil and tea even before Nepal’s objection to the road inauguration by Indian government through Lipu Lekh Pass, a Nepali territory, on May 6.
“But, in recent days, the southern neighbor has completely stopped importing palm oil and tea from Nepal,” an official at the MoCS said. The official said that the Indian government has not responded to Nepal’s call to resume import of palm oil and tea in Indian market yet.
India has been, from time to time, creating hassles on the import of those products from which Nepal has been making good export earnings. Just two weeks ago, India suspended the import of palm oil from Nepal, under the pretext of checking imports to protect the Indian industries.
Purna Kumar Karki, president of Jhapa Tea Entrepreneurs Association, said he has been informed about the import suspension imposed by India. According to him, the Indian authorities impose non-tariff barriers on Nepali products from time to time for no reason.
Karki said Nepal has been exporting both CTC and orthodox tea in significant volumes to India. As per the statistics maintained by the Trade and Export Promotion Centre, Nepal exported tea worth Rs 630 million to India last year.