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Indian govt cuts corners, announces austerity measures
September 18, 2013, 5:21 pm

The finance ministry on Wednesday ordered small-bore austerity measures including a ban on holding meetings at five star hotels and creation of new posts in federal departments, at a time when government revenue growth has slowed down.

"Such measures are intended at promoting fiscal discipline, without restricting the operational efficiency of the government," a finance ministry statement said.

The austerity measures will include a 10% cut in non-plan expenditure, mainly the recurring spending of the government. That will exclude interest payment, repayment of debt, defense budget, salaries and the pension bill, the statement said.

It was not immediately clear how much the government would save through such measures, although the savings are not expected to be significant.

Last year, the government had announced similar austerity measures some months before the finance minister imposed wide-ranging spending cuts to meet a tough fiscal deficit target

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