After moving out of a five-star hotel following the Finance Minister's austerity drive, External Affairs Minister S M Krishna has now decided not to use private aircrafts for his visits abroad.
The Union government's An austerity drive in the Union Government gained steam on Sunday with External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna announcing that he will travel on commercial flights instead of taking will not take private planes travel for aircraft and travel on commercial flights on for his overseas trips.
After initial resistance, while his colleague, Minister of Agriculture Sharad Pawar after some initial resistance, flew economy class on in a private airline. “I will not, henceforth, use private planes for visits outside the country and will not travel business class,” Mr. Krishna told PTI.
“I will go by commercial flights.” He Mr. Krishna said his delegation would be limited to three persons. Normally, half-a-dozen officials travel with the Minister Krishna.
The immediate fallout of Mr. Krishna's decision is that he will not take the 14-seater Embraer plane for his two-nation tour to Belarus and Turkmenistan, starting Tuesday. The External Affairs, Defence and Home Ministers are entitled to use the Embraer for travel abroad.
Nationalist Congress Party chief Mr. Pawar, the NCP chief who met his party members men in Mumbai, flew to Delhi, from Mumbai in economy class, by private carrier Kingfisher airlines, an aide of the Minister told PTI.
“Mr. Pawar will henceforth travel economy,” an the aide of the Minister said. The Agriculture Minister had voiced reservations against the austerity measures at a recent Cabinet meeting.
He said that one of the hazards of travelling in economy class was constant intrusion by passengers which , thus hampered ing file work.He also said Keeping his large frame in mind, Pawar had also said a person of his built like him would not be able to squeeze into the economy class seats.
Not to be outdone with these claims, With Union Ministers apparently bitten by the austerity bug, Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee said she has been practising it for decades.
Following the controversy over five-star stays by Mr. Krishna and Minister of State for External Affairs Shashi Tharoor putting up in five-star hotels, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee imposed austerity measures, asking that included guidelines to Ministers, that they to travel economy class on domestic and internal flights.
Though some within the Cabinet questioned the measure, a host of Union Ministers vowed to cut down on travel and other expenses. Mr. Mukherjee himself flew travelled by economy class on in a budget airline to Kolkata on Sunday.
“Everybody knows the way I live. I whole heartedly welcome measures suggested by the Finance Minister. It's nothing new for to me and I have been practising it for decades,” said Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee Mamata said about the austerity measures suggested by the Finance Ministry.
Ms. Banerjee, who has not yet taken the official vehicle allotted to her car, said says she will continue to travel to office in a private vehicle. The Trinamool Congress chief who stays staying in a multi-storeyed flat, showed disinclination to move to the her ministerial bungalow allotted to her, ignoring calls by her party members who partymen who feel her current present accommodation is not enough for official work and meeting party functionaries.
With a jhola (cotton bag) slung over her shoulders and invariably wearing a cotton saree, Mamata wears a trademark 'hawai chappal'.
Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel and Minister of State for Environment and Forests Jairam Ramesh have already announced their support for the austerity measures.
Union Minister for Women and Child Development Krishna Tirath is learnt to have cancelled her tour to New York.
Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad has joined the austerity drive asking asked officials to cut down on foreign and domestic travel.
Last week, Parliamentary Affairs Minister P.K. Bansal cancelled a goodwill visit by a parliamentary delegation to Egypt and Greece.