By MADHU AGRAWAL / NEW DELHI
The austerity-measures approved by new Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan which include ban on first-class air-travel by even President, Chief Justice and Chairpersons of two Houses of Parliament. He even imposed ban on use of special aircrafts for international visits by Pakistan Prime Minister. It may be recalled that some Indian political rulers in past had also decided to use normal flights for international travel.
Indian government should also impose a total ban on travel by business or first class in flights at public-expense for everyone in central and state governments and their undertakings. It is significant that most popular private airliner in India does not have any business or first class. Even it can be ordered to abolish concept of business or first class for all new aircrafts purchased by any airline-company for domestic flights in India.
Age-old costly but useless protocols to run pilot-cars or follow-up cars for some entitled ones like judges of higher courts or their equivalents should also be abolished. This practice should be retained only for only those under highest security-cover requiring it for security reasons rather than for show of status. Practice of officers to receive and see off certain entitled dignitaries should also be done away. Rail-fare on unused reserved accommodation by Parliamentarians should be deducted from their salaries. US-system for just half of last paid salary to even US President without any accommodation or staff should be introduced in India.
MPLADS scheme and similar schemes in states, which even Public Accounts Committee of Parliament and Planning Commission termed useless and corruption-generating, should be abolished like also echoed by then Lok Speaker Somnath Chaterjee. A TV-sting caught Parliamentarians taking bribe to approve schemes to be funded through their MPLADS funds. It may be recalled that trusts floated by the then Chief Election Commissioner Navin Chawla were generously funded by Parliamentarians cutting across party-lines from their MPLAD funds. Already Bihar government has abolished such a scheme in the state.