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Odishatv Bureau

Bhubaneswar: With less than twelve hours to go for the traders’ scheduled stir against the State government’s ‘additional VAT’ on pulses to begin, the Odisha government on Thursday decided to procure essential commodities through e-marketing while urging the traders to call off their agitation.

“To tackle the situation, we have decided to begin talks with National e-marketing Ltd. for procurement of pulses. We hope it will yield the desired result,” Food and Civil Supplies minister Sanjay Dasburma told reporters here after holding a meeting with top officials at the Secretariat.

The minister also informed that a Task Force had, been formed to review the situation on a daily basis.

“We don’t want to see the consumers in trouble. The Task Force will hold discussion with Collectors of all the districts on a daily basis,” Dasburma stated.

On Wednesday talks between the Odisha government and representatives of Federation of All Odisha Traders' Association (FAOTA) failed on withdrawal of VAT on pulses, wheat and wheat products.

Traders are hell bent on their decision to go ahead with stopping import of essential food grains to Odisha from April 1. They had threatened to stop the import of essential commodities pulses, edible oil, sugar, rice, wheat and wheat products from other states from April 1 protesting against the five per cent value added tax (VAT) imposed on pulses, wheat and wheat products by the state government.

As many as 25 states have exempted VAT on pulses, wheat and wheat products, they claimed.

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