Austerity measures announced by the government to rein in fiscal deficit will not apply to ministers and senior officers going abroad on official visit. The Finance Ministry has clarified that the “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.” The Ministry issued the clarification after different ministries made references about restrictions imposed on foreign travel as part of the austerity drive, which was announced on September 18. The Finance Ministry is trying to contain fiscal deficit to the budget target of 4.8 per cent of the GDP. — PTI