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February 2, 2001
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PM hints at imposing more taxes

Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee on Friday hinted at a fresh dose of moderate taxes besides several non-tax measures to mop up resources to rebuild quake-hit Gujarat.

"Two per cent additional surcharge (on income tax and corporate tax) is not enough keeping in view the magnitude of the devastation in Gujarat," he told reporters.

Asked if the fresh dose of taxes would be heavy, the prime minister said, "It will not be so.....we will also have to devise other ways to mobilise resources to carry out the massive reconstruction and rehabilitation work."

The Union Cabinet had on Thursday night decided to promulgate an ordinance to impose 2 per cent additional surcharge on Income and Corporate taxes this year to garner Rs 13 billion for relief operations.

"This decision has been taken to share the grief of the quake-stricken people of Gujarat," the prime minister said, appealing to people to contribute generously to help the victims.

He, however, declined to elaborate how much fund was needed to put Gujarat back on the rails. "I am not in a position to say how much resources are required for this purpose," he said.

Vajpayee also said that the government was formulating measures to ensure safety of buildings in New Delhi to enable them withstand major quakes.

The Complete Coverage | List of earthquake sites

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