Traders Association refuses to deal Wheat Products, Pulses

Cuttack, Dec 09: Odisha Traders Association on Monday threatened to stop trade in the wheat products like flour, suji and maida and the varieties of pulses protesting the 5% VAT in the state. The union claimed that these wheat products and pulses do not invite VAT in many states.

"Demanding the withdraw of VAT on wheat products and pulses, we have submitted several memorandums to the state government. Since the government was non-committal to our demands, we had given an ultimatum to stop trading in these products from tomorrow," said Srikant Sahu, the joint secretary of traders association here.

Accordingly, all the chambers of commerce across the state had been informed about it, Sahu said, adding no trader would order for these products or sell them until VAT is removed from wheat products and pulses.

Odisha is a major consumer in terms of wheat products and pulses. Out of nearly nine lakh tonnes of these products consumed in the State, it produces only ten per cent of its demand; sources said adding that the annual business turnover of these products crosses Rs 4500 crore.

"The 5 per cent VAT on these products in the State results in price difference of Rs 300 per quintal in comparison to neighbouring states," said a pulses trader, adding the arbitrary VAT imposition has given way to unfair trade practices as a result against a revenue target of Rs 225 cr, the government ends up collecting a meagre Rs 30 crore.

The Union suggested that the government can impose only 1% entry tax on these products and do away with VAT burden like other 23 states.

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