Bhubaneswar: Traders under the banner of Federation of All Odisha Traders’ Associations (FAOTA) today began an indefinite strike demanding exemption of value added tax (VAT) on pulses, wheat and wheat products in the state. “We have stopped procuring pulses, wheat and wheat products from other states from today as the government has no sincerity to withdraw VAT on these food items,” said FAOTA secretary Sudhakar Panda. About 90 per cent of state’s dal and wheat requirement is imported from outside, he said. While the state government wanted to continue VAT on the pulses and wheat products till introduction of the goods and service tax (GST), the traders body was in no mood to wait till the central taxation came into force.
The state government, however, appealed to the traders body to cooperate with the administration and wait till introduction of GST. “We appeal to the traders to come for discussion and resolve the matter amicably. We want that the traders should also understand the revenue status of the state,” said state Food and Supplies Minister Sanjay Dasburma.
The minister said there was enough stock in the market. Panda, however, said the stocks would meet requirement of the market for at best one week.