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Krishna not to use private plane for visits abroad

September 13, 2009 14:51 IST
In view of the government's austerity drive, Union External Affairs Minister S M Krishna on Sunday decided to forego travel by private aircraft which he is entitled to use on visits abroad and said he will go by commercial flights.

"I will not henceforth use private planes for visits outside the country and will not travel business class," Krishna told PTI.

The minister also said his delegations will be limited to three persons. The External Affairs, Defence and Home Ministers are entitled to use one 14-seater Embraer plane for travel abroad.

The decision will come into operation from his two-nation tour to Belarus and Turkmenistan starting Tuesday.

"I will go by commercial flights," said Krishna, who has been facing criticism for making a five-star hotel his temporary home as the bungalow allotted to him was under renovation.

Krishna said he will do the same during his visit to Moscow next month.

After the controversy over five-star stays by Krishna and Minister of State for External Affairs Shashi Tharoor, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee imposed austerity measures that included guidelines to ministers that they travel economy class on domestic and internal flights.

Though some within the cabinet questioned the measures, a host of Union ministers vowed to cut down on travel and other expenses. Mukherjee himself travelled by economy class in a budget airline to Kolkata on Saturday.

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