Government departments have been banned from holding meetings in 5-star hotels and officials barred from executive class air travel as part of a slew of austerity measures announced on Wednesday to cut non-plan expenditure by 10 per cent. Aiming to restrict the fiscal deficit to 4.8 per cent of GDP in 2013-14, the Finance Ministry has ordered all ministries and departments not to buy new vehicles, create new jobs or fill posts lying vacant for over one year. It has also directed that the size of delegations going abroad should be kept at “absolute minimum.” —PTI