Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Mar 31:
While traders in the state are rigid in their stand to stop import of essential commodities like pulses, wheat and wheat products into the state from tomorrow demanding withdrawal of 5% value added tax (VAT) on these items, the Odisha government has come up with a plan to import pulses through e-marketing to tackle the situation.
The government has decided to discuss the matter with National e-Marketing Ltd.
“We will negotiate with National e-Marketing Ltd to make alternative arrangement for supply of pulses,” Das Burma said talking to reporters after the meeting.
Further, the government today formed a task force to monitor and tackle the situation out of stopping of import of wheat and wheat products along with pulses by the traders from tomorrow, the Minister said.
“A task force with Food Supplies and Consumer Welfare department principal secretary as its chairperson has been constituted to monitor the situation. Commercial Tax Commissioner and other officers of the Food Supplies and Consumer Welfare department will be its members. Similarly, district collectors have been directed to send reports on the situation on a daily basis,” Das Burma added.
The Minister has however, once again appealed to the Federation of All Odisha Traders’ Association (FAOTA) to not to go ahead with their proposed stir.
“I once again appeal to FAOTA to withdraw from their proposed move to stop imports. I am hopeful that in the greater interest of the state and interest of the consumers the traders will withdraw from their proposed stir. The government is prepared to discuss on the issue after the second phase of the Assembly session is over,” Das Burma appealed.
Responding to a query by reporters over possible imposition of ESMA Das Burma said: “It’s not been decided yet.”
The decisions were taken at a high-level meeting chaired by Food Supplies and Consumer Welfare Minister Sanjay Das Burma held at the state secretariat here today in which chief secretary Aditya Prasad Padhi and principal secretary Food Supplies and Consumer Welfare department Madhusudan Padhi were present.