Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Mar 31:
The opposition Congress members today demanding a debate in the Odisha Assembly on traders demand to exempt value added tax (VAT) on essential commodities imported from outside states created ruckus forcing the Speaker to adjourn the House.
Seeking a ruling from the Speaker for a discussion on the issue Congress members rushed into the well of the House creating noisy scenes.
Unable to run the House amidst the chaos, the Speaker adjourned the House first at 12.40 PM and later till 3 PM.
It being an important issue Congress had demanded a discussion in the House on it.
Federation of All Odisha Traders’ Association (FAOTA) has been long since demanding exemption of levy of VAT on essential commodities-pulses, wheat and wheat products, sugar, rice and edible oil from other states from April 1 protesting against 5% VAT imposed on these items by the state government has threatened to stick to its earlier decision following failure of talks between them and state government yesterday.
The traders’ body has been demanding imposition of unitary tax instead of 5% VAT on these items.
The FAOTA had also earlier threatened to stop the import of such items and in June 2015 following which the state government had formed a committee to resolve the issue and had promised to solve the issue within three months.
Notably, the state consumes about 67,000 metric tonne (MT) of pulses and 12,000 MT of wheat products every month. A chunk of the consumption is imported from other states.