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UTTAR PRADESH, INDIA, October 6, 2001: The Bharatiya Janata Party-led Rajnath Singh government in Uttar Pradesh has exempted puja related items such as mukut, icons, trishuls, havan kund, deepak, etc, from trade tax. Significantly, the decisions have come at the onset of the festive season and when preparations for Ramlila are in full swing all over the state. The demand for puja items skyrocket during festive season beginning from Durga Puja later this month. In Surat most garment store owners across the city are saying that the market is hit by heavy recession with hardly any shoppers on the eve of Navratri this year at all. They have prepared themselves for a spell of low-profits despite myriad discounts and other schemes being announced by most shopkeepers to attract buyers. But some merchants harbor the hope that sales could pick up at the last minute.