The food grain traders in Odisha have called off their indefinite strike after getting assurance from the state government, which promised to consider the waiver of 5% VAT on pulses and wheat products. Earlier, the traders had stopped import and sale of these items, triggering a major crisis.
The strike began yesterday on December 9, which raised the panic button across the state. Acute shortage of pulses and wheat was feared and people were seen rushing to the market and shops to store these items.
The Odisha Government has sought four months to consider all aspects of the demands made by the traders and take adequate steps to fulfill those. The written assurance was given by the Special Commissioner Commercial Taxes (Policy).
The government is hopeful that food grains will be declared as tax-free items when the list of items to be included and excluded in the proposed Goods and Services Tax (GST) are finalized within the next two months.