BHUBANESWAR: The Federation of All Odisha Traders’ Association (FAOTA) on Friday stopped importing essential commodities demanding the withdrawal of VAT on pulses, wheat and wheat products.
The Federation took the decision to mount pressure on the Odisha government after talks between the two parties failed. The move will escalate price rise of the essential commodities putting a hole in the common man’s pocket.
“We had earlier warned the state government to stop importing pulses and wheat products from April 1. We demand the withdrawal of five percent VAT imposed on pulses, wheat and wheat products by the state government. But, the state government did not pay heed to our demand,” said Sudhakar Panda, FAOTA general secretary.
He said as many as 26 states had exempted VAT on these products; the Odisha government is not responding to the demand of the Federation.
They have stopped the import of pulses, edible oil, sugar, rice, wheat and wheat products from other states.
Food supply and consumer welfare minister Sanjay Dasburma said the government has decided to import these products through national e-marketing Ltd.
Odisha largely depends on other states for its consumption of these essential commodities.
While Odisha consumes 0.9 million tonne of pulses, it imports an overwhelming majority as it produces only 0.12 million tonne. The state’s wheat consumption is 1.2 million tonne.