LTC & travellling settlement


Free Thinker
My daughter asked me whether the Prime Minister or the Chief Minister can avail LTC (Leave Travelling Concession). I said, “most probably they can, they are also government employees”. She further asked whether they actually claim. I told her, “not sure whether they claim or not, but years ago I read in the newspaper that one PM was in Kerala on a vacation”. Again, not very sure whether he avail LTC or not.

The stories of travel settlements are available everywhere. Even a story of settlement claim by Hanumanji came up; the dealing assistant refused to clear Hanumanji’s file and put many objections – he is not entitled to fly; he was not supposed to bring a mountain; he did not clear the mountain till date; moreover, no travel documents are submitted; his flying included foreign land; he flew without passport and visa etc. etc. Nobody could over-rule the objections put by the dealing assistant. Hanumanji went to Ramji for help. As usual Ramji told him, ‘please don’t drag me into this’; he asked Hanumanji to go to Laxmanji. Hanumanji went to Laxmanji for his indulgence. Laxmanji called the file and overruled all the objections with the following replies: though he is not entitled to fly, he flew on emergency; as he is not a medical practitioner he could not identify the plant (medicinal) , so he brought the mountain in good faith; for clearing the mountain a different Deparment will look into; as far as his foreign trips are concerned he got the oral order from the highest competent authority; the file is cleared and needful must be done immediately.

It must be a fact that 99 percent of the employees avail LTC. Leave Travelling Concession is given to all the State and Central government employees. Generally, they can avail it once in two years or in other words 2 times in 4 years (which is officially called a block year). Most of the government employees enjoy this facility. First because this is an opportunity for the whole family (dependent members) of the government employee to travel together and have fun together or go to their home-town or home-village. It is not mandatory to travel together, but in most of the cases they do travel together.Some may travel by Air or some may travel by Train or by Bus according to their position/level in the government hierarchy. Even within the Air category some are entitled for the Executive or ‘J’ class and some are for the ‘Y’ or Economy class. For the Railways, the categorization is made on the basis of entitlement – AC1, AC2, AC3, First class, Sleeper, etc. Even for the buses there are hierarchical categories – First class, Deluxe, Non-Deluxe, Ordinary etc.

One retired Babu who was dealing with the settlement of Travel expenses and LTC claims narrated a story of group LTC fabrication. Many families of government employees used to go to Vrindavan along with their family availing LTC. There were many tour operators for Vrindavan. Actually, they were the bus owners who conducted group trips to Vrindavan. One trip is for about 20 days. Many government employees went to Vrindavan on LTC through these tour operators. Objections were put; they must have traveled by government transport; it is a packaged trip (fare part unclear); no prior approval was taken to travel by private buses (tour operators) etc. These objections were cleared by the higher authority saying that the fare part of the claim may be segregated and settle the claims.( Travel by private buses allowed ).

Then a roaring business had started; for instance, “Trip to Vrindavan and nearby places on LTC” by such and such Tour Operator. Many did not go but started claiming LTC for their entire family, submitting bogus bus tickets from these private tours and travels. It became a rampant nuisance and almost had turned into a scandal. One internal enquiry was set up to look into such doubtful claims.

The proprietor of the concerned tour operator was summoned to examine the tickets allegedly issued by his firm; whether they actually issued those tickets. He saw the tickets and said “these are fake”. Then the claimants were called to defend themselves. They went to the highest authority to save their jobs. Then the competent authority issued an order saying that for the unreliable tickets other credible evidences of their respective travels must be submitted. Consequently, the hell loose large; some brought Jamuna water in a bottle, some brought Bal Gopal figurines, Radha-Krishna pictures, some brought photographs (studio made) clicked in Vrindavan & Mathura; some brought Vrindavan chandan, Vrindavan stone, Vrindavan chaadar etc. After examining these credible evidences the settlements were allowed. These evidences are still kept for future reference and ‘precedence’. These days LTC/travel claims are easily verified on the click of a mouse as a result of massive computerization and 24-hour internet. So be careful while settling your bogus claims and fake bills.

Source: The Sangai Express


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