INDIA – The sugar traders in the state have threatened to stop importing sugar from other states if the government does “We will stop importing sugar from other states by the end of this month if the state government does not withdraw four per cent VAT imposed on the commodity. No other state in the country has imposed VAT on sugar. We will sell all the available stock to consumers and will not buy further” said BK Mohanty, general secretary, Federation of All Orissa Traders’ Association (FAOTA).
Mohanty claimed that with the imposition of four per cent VAT on sugar along with the two per cent entry tax levied on the commodity, both the sugar traders and the consumers have been overburdened.
“We have met the state finance minister Prafulla Ghadei and submitted a memorandum to him. He has assured us that the matter will be taken to the Cabinet and there will be a favorable outcome”, he said.
“Our protest will be a peaceful protest, we will keep our shops open and we will not import sugar from other states”, he added.
As against the requirement of 6.5 lakh tonne of sugar per annum, the production in the state is a meagre 35,000-45,000 tonne, catering to only five per cent of the demand.
The Orissa government through a notification on May 3, imposed four per cent VAT on sugar and textiles. The VAT was to be imposed on these two items with retrospective effective from April 8, 2011.
FAOTA’s decision has come close on the heels of the protest organized by the All Orissa Textile Merchants’ Association (AOTMA) and Orissa Garments’ Association (OGA) on the imposition of four per cent Value Added Tax (VAT) on textile products on June 7.