Traders to stop wheat, pulses import over VAT

Bhubaneswar: After negotiations with the State government yielded no fruitful results, the Odisha Byabasai Mahasangh is all set to go on strike from today. The traders association has decided not to import pulses and wheat after its discussion with the government Tuesday over value-added tax (VAT) went in vain.

On April 7, a five-member team of the Mahasangh held discussions with the Finance, Food, Supplies and Consumer Welfare secretaries and commercial tax commissioner over VAT exemption.

During the meeting, the Mahasangh demanded the State government to exempt VAT on essential commodities like wheat and pulses and warned that the association will go for a strike from today and will not import any pulses and wheat products.

Sudhakar Panda, General Secretary, Odisha Byabasayi Mahasangha said,”The State government had given us a written assurance that necessary steps will be taken within four months. Though the stipulated time has elapsed, the government has not shown any concern towards the demands raised by the association. If the government agrees to our demands, the consumers of Odisha will be benefitted.”

Commenting on the development BJD spokesperson Sameer Das said that the State government is aware of all the demands that have been put forth by the traders and preliminary discussions have also been conducted. We will definitely find a solution after further discussions with the concerned authorities of the State government and the traders association, he added.