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 PM chides industry, outlines fresh reforms agenda
Seeking to set aside the ``unnecessary political controversy'' of the past week, the Prime Minister, Mr. Atal Behari Vajpayee, today outlined a fresh agenda for reforms with the focus on power, railways, cutting government spending and revising labour laws.

Confidence-building steps no substitute for talks: Kadirgamar
Hinting at some flexibility in its approach to talks with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), Sri Lanka today said it was prepared to consider unilateral steps to promote a peace process provided these measures were not seen as a substitute for immediate and substantive negotiations.

'Hurriyat leaders can travel to Pak.'
The Government has no problem if some of the Hurriyat leaders want to travel to Pakistan, according to responsible sources in the Vajpayee administration.

Some States announce imposition of ESMA
Some BJP-ruled States and Delhi today announced imposition of the Essential Services Maintenance Act (ESMA) against the striking postal employees. Unconfirmed reports said a few States have decided to invoke the Industrial Disputes Act which, however, is not as big a deterrent as the ESMA.

Youth enters tiger's lair, mauled to death
Panic gripped the Alipore zoo here today after a tiger killed a youth who ventured into the open-air enclosure for big cats by scaling the high wall surrounding it. Last night, at a circus show in neighbouring Howrah town, three tigers fatally attacked their trainer, 20-year-old Rita Chhetri.

 Sonia alleges discrimination in relief
The Congress president, Ms. Sonia Gandhi, today accused the Union Government of discriminating against the Congress-ruled States in providing relief assistance.

'India, Russia nuclear cooperation will continue'
Russia will continue nuclear cooperation with India even if it meant reviewing its commitments under international exports controls.

PM to visit Kerala
The Prime Minister, Mr. A.B. Vajpayee, will be coming to Kerala on December 26 for a week's treatment and rest at the Kumarakom tourist resort near Kottayam.

Pak. to impose 30 per cent duty on Indian sugar
In a bid to boost domestic industry, Pakistan has decided to impose 30 per cent import duty on Indian sugar, media reports said today. It said a 15 per cent duty will also be imposed on raw sugar imported from India.


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