In a first, Railway employees will now be able to avail Leave Travel Concession (LTC), the government has said. A March-27 circular issued by the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) confirmed the step taken to extend the benefit to railways employees and their spouses.
Railways personnel were so far not entitled to the LTC as the facility of “Free Pass” is available to them. The allowance has been okayed after the Seventh Pay Commission recommended that railway employees be brought into the LTC fold. LTC is a type of allowance given to an employee for covering travel expenses when on a leave. It is tax-exempt under the Income Tax Act.
“The matter has been considered in this department in consultation with Ministry of Railways. It has been decided that Railway employees may be allowed to avail all-India LTC once in a block of four years…The ‘All-India LTC’ will be purely optional for railway employees,” the Ministry was quoted as saying by PTI.
However, railway employees shall continue to be governed by the Railway Servants (Pass) Rules and availing of the “All India LTC” under the CCS (LTC) Rules by them will be facilitated through a special order under the relevant provision of the said Pass Rules, it said.
The latest provision, however, comes with a condition — that the railway employees will not be eligible for “Home Town LTC” and will have to surrender the Privilege Passes (concessional or free tickets) admissible to them in the calendar year in which they intend to avail the LTC facility. This was stated in the DoPT order issued by the ministry.
They would, however, continue to be eligible for other kinds of passes such as the duty pass, school pass and special passes on medical grounds, as admissible under the pass rules, the order was quoted as saying by the news agency.
Another condition states that if a Railway employee has already availed a Privilege Pass, then LTC will not be allowed in that year. The order further mentioned that the railway employees on deputation to any other organisation, including railway PSUs, would also continue to be eligible for optional LTC in lieu of Privilege Pass entitlement.