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`More burden on common man'

Our Bureau

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM, March 1

THE Union Budget for 2002-03 will impose further burden on the common man, according to the Kerala Chief Minister, Mr A.K. Antony.

The increase in the prices of LPG and kerosene would badly hit the middle class and the weaker sections. Similarly, the reduction in the subsidy on chemical fertilisers and the consequent rise in their prices would weaken the agricultural sector, he said.

However, the Chief Minister welcomed the hike in the import duty on rubber and spices from 40 per cent to 70 per cent and that on tea and coffee from 70 per cent to 100 per cent. At the same time, the Government should have raised the import duty on palm oil, he said.

The Kerala Finance Minister, Mr K. Sankaranarayanan, said the five per cent surcharge on income-tax would badly affect the tax-payers.

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