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Cost cutting? Ministers, top officers can still fly first class!

October 09, 2013 19:11 IST

Cost cutting? Ministers, top officers can still fly first class!

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PTI

Austerity measures announced by the government to rein in the fiscal deficit will not apply on air travel by ministers and senior officers going abroad on official visit.

The Finance Ministry has clarified that "Union Council of Ministers, others in the rank and status of Minister of State, and officers drawing Rs 90,000 fixed (per month) may travel by their entitled class".

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Image: A stewardess adjusts a pillow in the business-class section of an Emirates Airbus A380.
Photographs: Sean Gallup/Getty Images

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The ministry has issued the clarification following references to it by different ministries with regard to restrictions imposed on foreign travel as part of the austerity drive announced on September 18.

It had imposed various restrictions on domestic and foreign travel by government officials.

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Photographs: Reuters
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The last month's circular had said: "Officers may travel by entitled class for international travel, however, officers in apex scale may travel only by business class. In all cases of air travel, only the lowest fare air tickets of the entitled class are to be purchased/procured.

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Photographs: Reuters
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"No companion free ticket on domestic/international travel is to be availed of."

Most of the airlines offer economy class, premium economy class, business class and first class travel. The fare goes up as one moves from economy to first class.

The Finance Ministry had announced a host of austerity measures to keep the public expenditure in check and contain fiscal deficit to the budget target of 4.8 per cent of the GDP. 


Photographs: Reuters

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