Protesting against high VAT rates, over 2,200 wholesale traders in Odisha have stopped importing pulses and wheat products from other states beginning Tuesday for an indefinite period.
They were agitating under the banner All Odisha Traders’ Association (AOTA). The state’s main business point Malgodown in Cuttack remained closed on Tuesday.
The traders’ body has been demanding for introduction of a unitary tax system on food products in the state instead of the 5% VAT levied on these items, which are exempted in 23 other states in the country.
Traders had been time and again complaining against the high VAT rate on food products in Odisha, which they claimed had led to rampant black marketing of these items by unscrupulous traders.
“As many as 23 states in the country have no VAT on pulses and food grains,” said AOTA general secretary Sudhakar Panda. fe Bureau