Food Minister urges traders’ union to call off stir

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Bhubaneswar, April 1: Food Supply and Consumer Welfare Minister Sanjay Dasburma Thursday urged the traders union to call off their stir in view of larger interest of consumers across the State.

The Minister reviewed the situation in the backdrop of the strike call given by traders’ union from tomorrow with chief secretary AP Padhi and other senior officials at the State Secretariat here. 

“The government is aware of the demands raised by the traders’ union. We will discuss the matter in this connection after the assembly session. Currently, there is enough quantity of pulses and pulses variants in stock. The consumers need not to be worried”, Dasburma told media persons after the meeting. 

A taskforce headed by Food Supply and Consumer Welfare Principal Secretary has been constituted to keep a watch over the situation. The government has also discussed with National Electronic Marketing Limited to ensure supply of pulses to the State. “The district collectors and district supply officers have been directed to take stern action against illegal hoarding and unnatural price rise of essential commodities. The officers have been asked to give daily updates about the situation”, Dasburma said.

Notably, the meeting came a day before the strike, which will be launched tomorrow by the traders union that is demanding exemption of Value Added Tax (VAT) on essential commodities. 

The traders have threatened to stop import of essential commodities like pulses, wheat, wheat products, edible oil, sugar, gram etc from April 1 demanding withdrawal of five percent VAT on these items as done in other States.

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The government on March 30 had convened a meeting of the traders but it remained unsuccessful as the traders demanded exemption of the five percent VAT.

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