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MAJURO, Marshall Islands (November 6, 1998 - Radio Australia)---The Marshall Islands government has introduced its national budget in Parliament -- cutting business taxes and dropping plans for a Value Added Tax.

Radio Australia correspondent Mike Woods reports:

"In good news for the Marshall Islands public service, government workers will not face rumored job and salary cuts.

"The government says lowering of business taxes is aimed at promoting private sector development.

"The health and education sectors will receive a funding boost, while a Value Added Tax being promoted by the Asian Development Bank has been ruled out.

"The Bank is supporting a reform program in the Marshall Islands and has reacted positively to the budget proposals - but has asked the administration to implement reforms more quickly.

"Mike Woods, Majuro."

For additional reports from Radio Australia, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Radio/TV News/Radio Australia.

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