The Government on Friday came out with a slew of austerity measures to reduce spending on foreign travel by ministers and officials, meetings in five-star hotels, and purchase of new cars, in view of the tight economic situation.

Announcing the measures, Minister of State for Finance, Namo Narain Meena, said the government is committed to carrying on the process of fiscal consolidation vigorously.

In a bid to adhere to the budgetary fiscal targets, and for better expenditure management, he said, in a written reply in the Lok Sabha, that the government may issue orders for strict compliance of the austerity measures effected last year.

These include enforcing a 10 per cent reduction on budgetary allocations for holding seminars, workshops and conferences, ban on holding meetings and seminars in 5-star hotels, ban on purchase of vehicles except for defence forces, paramilitary personnel and defence organisations, restrictions on foreign travel, adhering to the quarterly ceilings under foreign travel expenses, and ban on creation of plan and non-plan posts.

Follows Pranab's announcement

The minister's statement comes two days after Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee had said in the Rajya Sabha that the government planned to make some unpopular austerity measures to tighten the belt.

Reduced allocations

Meanwhile, an official said, scaling down of allocations made to various schemes is also on the cards, under which spending on current outlay will be insisted on, before asking for additional money.

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