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Odisha Government reduces 1%  VAT on pulses #News #Odisha 

Odisha government has reduced the VAT on pulses to 1 percent from 5 percent for a period of three months from July 1 to check prices and provide relief to the consumers.

A proposal in this regard was approved today in the State Cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik here. “The objective behind the reduction of VAT on pulses of all kinds is to control the prices in the market and also to avoid strikes by traders,” Chief Secretary A P Padhi told reporters. Padhi said the state used to get a revenue of Rs 45 crore from all kinds of pulses with the VAT rate at 5 percent.

INDORE, INDIA - OCTOBER 16: A vendor selling arhar dal pulses at a weekly market on October 16, 2015 in Indore, India. The government today said that it will buy 40,000 tonnes of pulses from farmers to create a buffer stock for controlling prices, which have soared up to Rs. 190 per kg in the retail markets. (Photo by Shankar Mourya/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)

The state government has also accepted traders’ suggestion that the state would not lose any revenue as reduction in the rate of VAT in Odisha would stop smuggling of pulses from other states, officials said. Admitting that pulses prices have reached an all-time high due to less production in the wake drought in the country, Padhi said this was one of the state government’s efforts to control price in the market. He said the Centre has been taking steps to import pulses from other countries. “When prices of these essential goods are high, if tax is added to the basic price, the retail price of these goods become very high,” Padhi said adding the state may withdraw the VAT reduction if its revenue collection was affected. “We are implementing VAT on all kinds of pulses at 1 percent for only three months on experimental basis. We hope the revenue collection will not be affected and at the same time people can get pulses at affordable price,” Padhi said.

In another decision, the Cabinet approved a new scheme OTS-2016 for the state-run Industrial Promotion and Investment Corporation Limited (IPICOL). Though IPICOL initially provided long term financial assistance and equity participation, its Certificate of Registration (CoR) as NBFC was cancelled by the RBI in 2013. This was done in view of IPICOL’s shift in its focus and stopping its financial activities since 2005-06. “Now this approval of the state government will enable IPICOL to recover its dues and other financial activities,” Padhi said adding IPICOL had earlier introduced various One Time Settlement Schemes since 2002-03 to recover loan dues from the NPAs and the last policy adopted was amended.

The Cabinet also bestowed the responsibility to the industries department of implementing the state government’s CSR (corporate social responsibility) policy. The state’s policy says the corporates need to spend 2 percent of their profit for the overall development of the local people.