PM advocates thrift in governance
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh recommended major cuts in ministerial expenses, particularly on air travel and all foreign travel, while Congress president Sonia Gandhi asked all chief ministers belonging to her party to cut sales taxes on petroleum products.
In a letter to his ministerial colleagues a day after his government hiked fuel prices nationwide, Dr Singh asked them to personally adopt austerity measures.
In view of the “huge burden on our financial resources due to rising global oil prices, and our dependence on the import of crude,” he said, “I am, therefore, writing to ask you to severely curtail expenditure on air travel, particularly foreign travel, except in cases where it is deemed absolutely necessary.”
He added that while “we need to explain to the people the constraints and reasons that have compelled the government to introduce these measures,” it was “equally necessary to introduce the utmost economy in our own administrations and establishments.”