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LTC rules for central government employees: The central government has issued guidelines on air ticket booking. The Department of Post under the Ministry of Communications has issued office memorandum (OM) in this regard and explained the Leave Travel Concession (LTC) rules in regard to air ticket booking agents, flight ticket fare, time band, etc. The central government has asked central government employees to book air ticket from three booking agents — Indian Railways Catering and Tourism Corporation Ltd (IRCTC), Balmer Lawrie & Company Limited (BLCL) and Ashok Travels & Tours (ATT).

Here we list out LTC rules for central government employees in 10 points:

1] In all cases of air travel in respect of LTC, air tickets shall be purchased only from the three Authorized Travel Agents (ATAs), namely: (a) M/s Balmer Lawrie & Company Limited (BLCL), (b) M/s Ashok Travels & Tours (ATT), and (c) Indian Railways Catering and Tourism Corporation Ltd. (IRCTC).

2] Government employees have to choose flight having the Best Available Fare on their entitled travel class which is the Cheapest Fare available, preferably for Non-stop flight in a given slot, mentioned below, at the time of booking. They are to retain the print-out of the concerned webpage of the ATAs having flight and fare details for the purpose of the settlement of the LTC claims.

3] Central government employees are encouraged to book flight tickets at least 21 days prior to the intended date of travel on LTC, to avail the most competitive fares and minimize burden on the exchequer.

4] In case of unavoidable circumstances, where the booking of ticket is done from unauthorized travel agent/website, the Financial Advisors of the Ministry/Department and Head of Department not below the rank of Joint Secretary in subordinate/attached offices are authorized to grant relaxation.

5] Government employees entitled for air travel, may apply for LTC advance with the print-out of the concerned webpage of authorized travel agency having suitable flight and fare details while tracking the fare of the flight under the three hour time slot, as mentioned at Para 1 (iii) (a) above, at least 30 days prior to the intended date of journey.

6] In case, at the time of actual booking of the ticket after receiving the advance, there is any difference in fare owing to the time gap between request for advance and grant of advance, the difference in fare will be adjusted at the time of settlement of LTC claim.

7] Government employees not entitled for air travel and wish to travel by air but not under the Special Dispensation Scheme, are also required to book their air ticket through only the three ATAs mentioned above irrespective of booking time limit. However, the reimbursement will be restricted to the actual air fare or the entitled train/bus fare for the shortest route, whichever is less.

8] Employees are encouraged to avoid unnecessary cancellations. Cancellations made less than 24 hours before intended travel on LTC, will require the submission of a self-declared justification by the employee. All the three ATAs have been directed to provide zero/nil cancellation charges. Till then, cancellation charges are to be reimbursed for all cases where cancellation was due to the circumstances/reasons beyond the control of Government employee.

9] Employees should preferably book only one ticket for each leg of intended travel on LTC. Holding of more than one ticket is not allowed.

10] While tickets may be arranged by the office through the travel agent, employees are encouraged to make ticket booking digitally through the Self Booking Tool/online booking website/portal of the 3 ATAs only. Employees must register their official Government Email-Id with these three agencies to book their air tickets digitally through above modes for travel by any airlines.

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