In sops to traders of Haryana, Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda today waived off VAT on all pulses and abolished the market fee on jaggery.
Noting that traders play a key role in the progress of any state, the CM also announced reduction in VAT on mustard oil cakes (Khal) from 5 per cent to 2 per cent.
He further said that the market fee on cotton would be charged at the rate of 1.6 per cent till 2015.
Addressing at the state-level Vyapar Mandal Sammelan at Hisar, which was organised under the chairmanship of former MP Naveen Jindal, Hooda also announced setting up of a coordination committee at district level which would comprise of representatives of district administration and businessmen.
The committee will act as bridge between the government and traders, he said.
On stray incidents where traders had received ransom threats, Hooda said that he has directed the police officials to take strict action against those found guilty. He also said that he has directed the Director General of Police to issue licenses of weapons to businessmen on priority basis.
The police have also been directed to pay special attention on the security of commercial areas in the state in view of the upcoming Assembly elections as anti-social elements may try to disturb the peace, he said.
The Chief Minister also announced to honour all those businessmen in the district who pay high taxes.
"Today, the state has congenial and secure atmosphere where businessmen can honestly carry out their trade. The state is making rapid progress and our traders are playing a key role and acting as a backbone," he said.
Referring to the erstwhile INLD-BJP Government (1999-2005), he said: "A reign of terror prevailed earlier and traders used to be exploited and faced harassment. We created a conducive environment so that trade flourishes in Haryana. Today, be it per capita income, planned budget, resources mobilisation, Haryana is No 1 in all spheres and in this our trader community is playing a key role".
"You go to any corner in the world, Haryana has carved out a name for itself. Even in the ongoing Commonwealth Games being held in Glasgow, our sportspersons have brought laurels for the state and the country winning 20 medals".
Hitting out at main opposition INLD, which released its poll manifesto yesterday and announced sops to various sections, Hooda said, "they only make hollow