VAT exemption on commodities: Traders, govt to meet again on Tuesday

Bhubaneswar: A high-level meeting chaired by Odisha Finance Minister Pradip Amat to sort out the VAT issue raised by the traders’ association on Saturday did not reach any conclusion and decided to meet again on Tuesday.

Sudhakar Panda, Secretary of the Federation of All Odisha Traders’ Associations after the meeting at the Secretariat here said, “On Tuesday we will discuss again. Before that the executive committee of the traders’ association will talk about the proposals given by the State government. At today’s meeting, no decision has been taken.”

Sanjay Dasburma, Civil Supply minister, who was also present at the meeting, said, “We hope some good result will come out from the Tuesday meeting.”

Notably, on Friday, the traders’ association decided to stop import of pulses, wheat and wheat products from neighbouring States from April 1 angry over the State government’s ‘failure’ to exempt VAT from essential commodities.

The traders’ body argued that though nine months have been passed since it assured to take a call on the VAT, the State government has not taken any concrete step.

Meanwhile, the State government wants a uniform VAT rate on pulses, wheat and wheat products for all states.

In April last year, traders had resorted to a week-long stir and had stopped imports of wheat, wheat products and pulses over non-fulfilment of their demand for withdrawal of VAT on these food products.