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No new tax in Orissa budget

Bhubaneswar, March 3: Orissa chief minister Naveen Patnaik today presented a tax-free deficit budget of Rs 23,147.09 crore for the financial year 2003-04.

Patnaik admitted that his government was caught in a debt trap, but said he was hopeful of tiding over the crisis. “The state is passing through a critical financial situation. We have tried to reduce unproductive expenditure and ensure generation of additional revenue,” he said at a news conference after presenting the budget.

Revenue expenditure has been pegged at Rs 9,811.59 crore.

Patnaik, who was assisted by minister of state for finance Panchanan Kanungo, said the budget aims at creation of self-employment opportunities for educated youth, development of infrastructure, participatory micro-planning and rural electrification.

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