Austerity drive not to compromise security: FM

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Pranab Mukherjee
Bangalore, Sep 20: Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee said that efforts are being made to ensure that the austerity drive do not compromise on the security measures to protect individuals.

"So far as the austerity measures are concerned, it is clearly stipulated that it will not compromise the security measures to be adopted by the Government to protect some individuals, particularly those who are more vulnerable and protected by the Special Protection Group (SPG)," Mukherjee told reporters.

Asserting that protective security would have to be first met, Mukherjee said the Government had requested those having SPG protection not to dilute their security cover.

Mukherjee said if the Government was able cut non-plan expenditure by 10 per cent as envisaged, there would be a lot of savings.

"If other aspects of austerity measures are considered, the non-plan expenditure can be cut by 10 per cent, which will be substantial if we take into account our total plan expenditure," Mukherjee pointed out.

Earlier on Sep 7, the government announced a series of austerity measures to reduce its non-plan expenditure by 10 per cent in light of drought and slowdown in economy due to global recession.

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