June 15, 2006 (LBO) – India has called for a meeting with Sri Lankan vanaspati producers on Friday to iron out issues, in the latest saga that has brought trade relations between both nations to a boiling point. Sri Lanka™s shipments of vanasapati an edible oil mainly used for cooking purposes came to a standstill on June 4, after New Delhi slapped a fresh set of rules restricting duty free exports from Colombo.
Despite a free trade pact between both nations, India issued a notice restricting that only state run National Agricultural Co-operative Marketing Federation (NAFED) could import duty free oil, bakery shortenings and margarine from Sri Lanka.
Late Wednesday, NAFED wrote to each vanasapati producer in Sri Lanka asking them to come to New Delhi for a meeting on June 16 to discuss shipments for July.
“You are requested to bring information¦..which would be helpful for formulating the procedure for considering import of vanaspati for delivery in July 2006,” NAFEDs General Manager (International Trade) Urmil Aneja said.
The letter, however, makes no reference to shipments for June, which the industry points out is unfair.
Summons from New Delhi comes following Sri Lanka’s