The Centre today said efforts are being made to ensure that the austerity drive do not compromise on the security measures to protect individuals.

Defending the austerity measures, Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee said steps like travelling by economy class might be a “drop in the ocean” but others like cuts in non-Plan expenditure to the extent of 10 per cent could amount to huge savings for the government.

He told reporters here that efforts are being made to ensure that the drive would not compromise on the security measures to protect individuals.

Asked whether such measures meant jeopardising the security of those coming under SPG cover, Mr. Mukherjee said “Government efforts to protect the protected should not be diluted.”

His comments are against the backdrop of Congress President Sonia Gandhi travelling economy class while flying to Mumbai and party general secretary Rahul Gandhi giving up executive class comfort and travelling in a chair-car seat in the Shatabdi Express to Ludhiana recently.

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