Austerity ends, babus can now fly 1st class

With signs of economic recovery, govt employees will be allowed to fly first class from April 1.

New Delhi: With signs of economic revival
becoming more pronounced, the government has relaxed the
austerity drive undertaken last year and from April 1,
government employees will be allowed to fly first class.

"The matter has been reviewed and it has been decided
that with effect from April 1, 2010, travel on government
account by air, both domestic and international may take
place by the entitled class," an official statement said.

Last September, in the midst of the global financial
crisis, the government had directed its employees not to fly
first class on government account, irrespective of their
entitlement, and fly economy for all domestic travels.

However, the government has not relaxed the austerity
directive in case of Leave Travel Concession (LTC).

"...austerity measures will remain in place for travel by
air (where admissible) on LTC, which would continue to be
restricted to economy class irrespective of the entitlement,"
the Finance Ministry statement said.

The Indian economy slowed down in 2008-09 after being hit
by the global financial crisis triggered by the collapse of US
investment bank Lehman Brothers and other Wall Street titans
beginning September 2008.

The country grew at a subdued rate of 6.7 per cent in
2008-09 after growing at around 9 per cent per annum for the
preceding three financial years. In 2009-10, the economy is
projected to grow by 7.2 per cent and by 8.5 per cent in