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No respite for common man: CM

Bhubaneswar: Dubbing Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee`s act of raising the base rate of excise duty as a "regressive" measure, chief minister Naveen Patnaik on Monday said this would hurt household budgets.

"The union budget proposal for 2011-12 hardly offers any respite to our common masses from soaring food prices. On the contrary raising the base rate of excise duty from 4 per cent to 5 per cent will hurt household budget," Patnaik told reporters while reacting to the Union budget.

Stating that the entire country was expecting some reduction in the taxes on petrol and diesel to lessen the inflationary pressure, Patnaik said the Finance minister had totally ignored this expectation.

"Though the Finance minister has announced a number of measures for agriculture sector, those are too little and will hardly have any significant impact," he said adding that had been no announcement on the rising unemployment problem.

Expressing his disappointment on no relief package for the rain-hit farmers in the state, the chief minister said that the budget has also not offered any special outlay for less developed states like Orissa.

Patnaik, however, said he welcomes the increase in honorium for the Anganwadi workers and helpers. This was long overdue, he pointed out.

Though the budget had offered a small tax benefit to the salaried employees, there is no relief for the workers of the unorganised sector, he said.

"Overall, I would say that the budget has failed to address the core concern of our common masses," Patnaik said.

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