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Government's austerity drive: economy class flights, no five-stars

The government on Wednesday announced austerity measures to cut non-plan expenditure by 10 per cent by completely banning new appointments and purchase of new vehicles.
Government's austerity drive: economy class flights, no five-stars
New Delhi:

The Central government will not make new appointments in its departments and all officials, except top bureaucrats, will fly in economy class within India as part of small-bore austerity measures announced on Wednesday.

It has also banned seminars and meetings in five-star hotels and purchase of new vehicles, at a time when government revenue growth has slowed down.

"Such measures are intended at promoting fiscal discipline, without restricting the operational efficiency of the government," a Finance Ministry statement said. (full statement)

The austerity measures will include a 10 per cent cut in non-plan expenditure, mainly the recurring spending of the government. That will exclude interest payment, repayment of debt, defence budget, salaries and the pension bill, the statement said.

It was not immediately clear how much the government would save through such measures, although the savings are not expected to be significant.

Last year, the government had announced similar austerity measures some months before the Finance Minister imposed wide-ranging spending cuts to meet a tough fiscal deficit target.

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