July 12, 2020
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Austerity For Our 5-Star Ministers

Given the recession, the finance ministry had yesterday appealed to all the ministries to observe austerity in view of the pressure on its finances.

The finance ministry had also ordered a 10% cut in non-plan expenditure by way of slashing foreign and domestic travel, publicity expenses and ban on conferences in five star hotels.

Congress party, meanwhile, asked its MPs to donate 20% of their salary towards drought-relief.

It so happened that two of the senior ministers have been staying at 5-Star hotels for over three months, ever since being sworn in: S M Krishna at ITC Maurya and Shahi Tharoor  at Taj Mahal because the allotted official residence in both cases is "not ready for occupation".

The Maurya’s Presidential suite on the 16th floor, where Krishna is staying, is so exclusive that the tariff is available only “on request”. The likes of US President George W Bush and Bill Clinton have stayed in these presidential suites. The tariff, though it can be negotiated for longer stays such as Krishna's, is said to be upwards of Rs 1 lakh per night.

The Taj suite, where Shashi Tharoor is staying, is apparently not as fancy and nowhere in the same league and only about 40% of the cost of Krisna's suite, approximately Rs 40,000 per night,

Both the ministers claimed they were paying their own hotel bills, but neither of them revealed the cost of their stay.

The finance minister Pranab Mukherjee has today publicly stated that he has asked the ministers to move into their respective state bhavans.

SM Krishna has now moved to Foreign Services Institute (FSI) guesthouse while Tharoor has moved to an Indian Navy guesthouse.

"I moved out of the hotel on September 1,"  Tharoor said.

In addition, on his twitter feeds, Tharoor has pointed out the following:

I wld be ashamed if I was spending the people's money. But I'm not - I'm spending my own savings.

yes, it's a non-story. I wasn't spending taxpyr money or using any Govt privilege. I'd much rather be in my official house!

I need 2 things daily that Kerala House doesn't offer - a gym and some privacy. But I visit pretty often and meet people there

What do you think? Is the government right in insisting that the ministers conform to austerity measures even when they are not spending the tax payer's money?

Austerity For Our 5-Star Ministers
outlookindia.com
1970-01-01T05:30:00+0530

Given the recession, the finance ministry had yesterday appealed to all the ministries to observe austerity in view of the pressure on its finances.

The finance ministry had also ordered a 10% cut in non-plan expenditure by way of slashing foreign and domestic travel, publicity expenses and ban on conferences in five star hotels.

Congress party, meanwhile, asked its MPs to donate 20% of their salary towards drought-relief.

It so happened that two of the senior ministers have been staying at 5-Star hotels for over three months, ever since being sworn in: S M Krishna at ITC Maurya and Shahi Tharoor  at Taj Mahal because the allotted official residence in both cases is "not ready for occupation".

The Maurya’s Presidential suite on the 16th floor, where Krishna is staying, is so exclusive that the tariff is available only “on request”. The likes of US President George W Bush and Bill Clinton have stayed in these presidential suites. The tariff, though it can be negotiated for longer stays such as Krishna's, is said to be upwards of Rs 1 lakh per night.

The Taj suite, where Shashi Tharoor is staying, is apparently not as fancy and nowhere in the same league and only about 40% of the cost of Krisna's suite, approximately Rs 40,000 per night,

Both the ministers claimed they were paying their own hotel bills, but neither of them revealed the cost of their stay.

The finance minister Pranab Mukherjee has today publicly stated that he has asked the ministers to move into their respective state bhavans.

SM Krishna has now moved to Foreign Services Institute (FSI) guesthouse while Tharoor has moved to an Indian Navy guesthouse.

"I moved out of the hotel on September 1,"  Tharoor said.

In addition, on his twitter feeds, Tharoor has pointed out the following:

I wld be ashamed if I was spending the people's money. But I'm not - I'm spending my own savings.

yes, it's a non-story. I wasn't spending taxpyr money or using any Govt privilege. I'd much rather be in my official house!

I need 2 things daily that Kerala House doesn't offer - a gym and some privacy. But I visit pretty often and meet people there

What do you think? Is the government right in insisting that the ministers conform to austerity measures even when they are not spending the tax payer's money?

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