Austerity flight: Finance minister takes budget airline
Posted on: 10:24 PM IST Sep 12, 2009
Kolkata: Days after prescribing austerity measures for ministers and party MPs, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee arrived in Kolkata from New Delhi Saturday on a budget airline.
"It's nothing new to me. During elections and whenever I travel on commercial flights, I almost (always) travelled economy class," he told the media on arrival in a flight of the low-cost airline Spicejet. It was an all-economy flight.
An aide of the veteran minister said he would return to New Delhi in the economy class of Air India.
The aide said Mukherjee would also avoid flying in special aircraft on foreign visits, and could even cancel a trip to Cyprus for an upcoming Commonwealth ministers' meet.
India's ruling Congress party has advised central ministers, party MPs and legislators to practise auterity in times of drought and rising prices. It has asked them to avoid flying in business class within the country and to avoid five-star hotels for meetings.