Ambika Soni’s austerity measure: go to South Korea, not US

June 12th, 2008 - 5:07 pm ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Manmohan Singh

New Delhi, June 12 (IANS) Less than a week after announcing that she was cancelling her trip to the US in response to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s call for austerity measures, Tourism Minister Ambika Soni has left for South Korea to attend the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) meet. Soni, who leads the Indian delegation, is attending the UNWTO executive meeting being held at Jeju island in South Korea from Thursday.

UNWTO is a United Nations agency that deals with tourism and compiles world tourism rankings.

Soni issued a statement June 6 announcing that she cancelled her seven-day trip to the US in response to the prime minister’s advice to cut expenses.

The statement said: “In response to Prime Minister’s directive on foreign travel to the members of the council of ministers, Minister of Tourism and & Culture Ambika Soni has cancelled her visit to San Francisco and Los Angeles from June 21-28.”

Soni was expected to attend the World Kuchipudi Dance Festival and a meeting of the American Association of Physicians of India Origin.

Interestingly, the ministry has not released a statement regarding her trip to South Korea.

Tourism Secretary S. Banerjee has accompanied Soni for the event that will end Friday.

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