Staff Reporter

ALAPPUZHA: Though the Union Budget 2007-08 presented by Minister for Finance P. Chidambaram on Wednesday was beneficial to the State, the decision to decrease the import duty on edible oil would affect coconut growers in Kerala, Leader of the Opposition Oommen Chandy has said.

He was inaugurating annual conference of Rajiv Gandhi Memorial Alappuzha Development Committee here on Wednesday. Mr. Chandy told reporters that the Congress would request the Finance Minister to revoke the decision to cut duties on edible oil.

Mr. Chandy said the budget had several proposals for the revival of the agricultural sector. The steps aimed at curbing inflation and arresting the rise in prices of essential commodities were welcome.

`Will curb inflation'

Special Correspondent writes from Thiruvananthapuram:KPCC president Ramesh Chennithala has termed the Union Budget as one that will provide relief to the common man, rural folks and housewives. In a statement here, Mr. Chennithala said Finance Minister P. Chidambaram's proposal to reduce excise duty on petrol and diesel would help tackle inflationary trends.

He said the Minister had taken care not to impose additional burden on the people.

He was sure that the special allocation for the rural sector would help in ensuring development of the rural areas, particularly in sectors related to education, employment, water supply and road development.