New Delhi: All central government employees will soon be sharing photos and interesting details of holidays. Besides, they will be exempted from informing their controlling officers before going on holiday and a self-certification from them would suffice.
These are some of the changes the Centre has decided to make in the relevant rules for availing Leave Travel Concession (LTC).
LTC allows grant of leave and ticket reimbursement to eligible central government employees to travel to their hometowns and to other places.
All LTC claims will be settled in a maximum period of one-month, as per the new rules. An additional ten days will be given to settle dues related to LTC travels by an employee in case he/she is posted away from the headquarters.
"Employees may be encouraged to share interesting insights and pictures, if any, of the destination he or she visited while availing LTC on an appropriate forum," the rules finalised by Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) said.
The move comes in the wake of a number of references regarding procedural difficulties faced by government employees in application and settlement of LTC claims.
"Sometimes, the government servants claim that failure to follow the correct procedure was on account of a lack of knowledge of the rules or instructions while in the other cases the delay is caused in the late processing of LTC claims."
"To remove these bottlenecks, this department has decided to simplify the procedure of application and make the procedure of processing of LTC claims time bound," the DoPT said.
It has sought comments from all concerned on the new guidelines within 15 days.
There are about 50 lakh central government employees.
Under the existing rules, government servants are required to inform their controlling officers before undertaking a journey on LTC.
"It has now been decided that the leave sanctioning authority shall obtain a self-certification from the employee regarding the proposed LTC journey," the DoPT said.
In the new guidelines, the DoPT will be reminding government officials entitled to travel by air that they "are required to travel by Air India only in economy class" unless permitted to do so by any general or specific provision.
"Officers not entitled to travel by air may travel by any airlines, however, reimbursement in such cases shall be restricted to the fare of their entitled class of train or actual expense, whichever is less," it said.
In all cases where a government servant travels by air, he or she is required to book the air tickets either directly through the airlines or approved travel agencies - M/s Balmer Lawrie & Co Ltd, M/s Ashok Tours and Travels Ltd, and IRCTC. Booking of tickets through any other agency is not permissible, the DoPT said.
Travel on tour packages is not allowed, except in the case of tours conducted by Indian Tourism Development Corporation (ITDC), State Tourism Development Corporation (STDC) and Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC), it said in the new policy which is likely to be fine-tuned further on the basis of feedback received from others.
It has been decided that whenever a government servant applies for LTC, he or she may be provided with a copy of the 17-point guidelines that need to be followed while availing LTC.