Indian officials asked to refrain from booking 5-star hotels

By on 23/02/2015

Senior civil servants in India have been asked to refrain from holding conferences and meetings in five-star hotels and to follow the austerity code, according to media reports.

Cabinet Secretary Ajit Seth has asked top bureaucrats in all ministries for strict compliance with the measures, the Economic Times reports.

The government first announced the austerity drive in October. The measures are aimed at reducing the fiscal deficit to 4.1% of GDP and include a ban on first-class travel for bureaucrats, meetings in five-star hotels and purchase of cars, a freeze on new appointments and a ban on filling vacant civil service posts.

According to the report, Seth told all secretaries in a recent communication that they should ensure strict compliance of the instructions and only use five-star hotels for important bilateral or multilateral official engagements.

Meanwhile, Seth appeared on a video hosted by ANI news channel, seeking to re-assure citizens over the current swine flu outbreak.

More than 11,000 people have the disease, which has killed more than 700 people since mid-December. It is the same H1N1 strain that spread rapidly around the world six years ago.

Seth said in the video interview that the government was taking measures to ensure proper treatment to patients. He said that delays in treatment was amounting to rising casualties, but that he was in touch with officials to ensure consistent supply of medicines and other medical equipment to government hospitals.

He has also directed drug controllers of various states to ensure availability of necessary vaccines, along with guidelines for usage and treatment protocol.

About Winnie Agbonlahor

Winnie is news editor of Global Government Forum. She previously reported for Civil Service World - the trade magazine for senior UK government officials. Originally from Germany, Winnie first came to the UK in 2006 to study a BA in Journalism & Russian at the University of Sheffield. She is bilingual in English and German, and, after spending an academic year abroad in Russia and reporting for the Moscow Times, Winnie also speaks Russian fluently.

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