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‘PSU officials can’t use miles from business trips’

Mile high: Incentives earned on air tickets can be used only for offical travel,says govt

Written by Surabhi | New Delhi | Published: February 27, 2013 12:55:10 am

A cash starved government has barred officials of public sector units from using mileage points and other incentives earned on air tickets while on official trips for personal use.

“It has been decided that all mileage points earned by employees of central public sector enterprises on tickets purchased for official travel shall be utilised by the concerned Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSEs) for other official travel by their employees,” the department of public enterprises — the nodal agency for all central PSUs — has said in a recent missive.

The instructions also ban PSU officials from using other freebies such as complimentary companion tickets for personal purposes,if the air travel was undertaken for official reasons. “It is the responsibility of the employees concerned to ensure that free mileage points are used only for official travel and not for personal trips,” the missive has warned.

In recent months,a number of PSUs had sought clarifications from the department of public enterprises on the issue. “The decision was taken at the highest level. Using these benefits for official purpose,rather than personal use will help cut down frivolous spending in such uncertain times,” said a senior government official,adding that they were approved by Praful Patel,minister of heavy industries and public enterprises.

The finance ministry had also issued similar instructions for government officials in October 2008 as part of its austerity measures to reduce state spending in the wake of the global financial crisis. It later also advised government officials to use the cheapest economy class air fares for official travel and LTC,irrespective of their entitlements.

Earlier this year,the ministry of petroleum and natural gas,which controls cash rich state owned firms including Oil India Ltd,ONGC Ltd, had also referred the matter to the Central Vigilance Commission,which also referred to the finance ministry’s directive and said they must be observed.

Austerity drive

* The instructions also ban PSU officials from using other freebies such as complimentary companion tickets for personal purposes

* The Finance Ministry had on October 2008,advised govt officials to use the cheapest economy class air fares for official travel

* Earlier this year,the petroleum ministry had also referred the matter to the CVC which referred to the directive and said they must be observed

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