State forms panel to procure pulses

Bhubaneswar: The State government has decided to constitute a State-level committee to procure pulses as the Federation of All Odisha Traders Association (FAOTA) continued its strike.

The association has stopped importing pulses, wheat and wheat products demanding waiver of 5% value-added tax and imposition of 1% entry tax.

“The State government will prepare an action plan for next two months to meet the situation arising out of the ongoing strike”, said Food Supplies and Consumer Welfare minister Sanjay Das Burma

He said in the first phase, the government would float tenders for procurement of 10,000 tonne of pulses which would be made available to people through 20,000 PDS outlets.

In order to keep a check on hoarding and black-marketing of pulses and wheat products, the minister said, all district collectors have been directed to keep a tab on such activities, besides tightening enforcement measures.

Though the traders’ body decided yesterday to continue their protest, its general secretary said they are open to discussions with the State government over the issue.