Odisha traders call off strike; consumers relieved

Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Apr 13:

The Federation of All Odisha Traders’ Association (FAOTA) this evening withdrew its five-day old strike after a
meeting with the state government on the issue of exemption of five percent VAT on pulses, wheat and wheat products bringing relief to the consumers in the state.

Pic Courtesy: www.telegraphindia.com
Pic Courtesy: www.telegraphindia.com

The two sides agreed at the meeting to form a joint seven-member committee to look into the issue. The committee will have four government officers and three representatives from the traders.

The committee will conduct a study on the issue and submit its report to the government within three months based on which the government will take a decision on the matter, it was agreed at the meeting.

Traders under the banner of FAOTA were on strike since April 9 and had stopped import of pulses, wheat and wheat products from outside the state pressing for a waiver of the five percent value added tax (VAT) on these items. The traders’ body had claimed that 24 states had waived VAT on these items. They had proposed imposition of one percent Entry Tax in lieu of five percent VAT on these items, a suggestion the government has rejected unambiguously stating that it was not possible at this juncture since the matter is pending in the Supreme Court.

Finance Minister Pradip Amat, Food Supplies and Consumer Welfare Minister Sanjay Dasburma, office bearers of the FAOTA and senior officers of the state government were present during the meeting which was held at the state secretariat here this evening.

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