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The Council on Economic and Fiscal Policy approved Tuesday the guidelines for budgetary requests for fiscal 2003, capping outlays at 48.1 trillion yen.

The total will eventually be slashed to 47.5 trillion yen — or “effectively lower” — in the process of compiling the budget toward the end of the year, Heizo Takenaka, minister in charge of economic and fiscal policy, said after the panel met.

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