Thursday, September 25, 2014

If you can’t buy tickets from Air India site, then only go to Balmer Lawrie or IRCTC, Govt tells LTC seekers

THE government employees going on a vacation and availing leave travel concession (LTC) can buy tickets from web-portal of government-authorized travel agents, namely Balmer Lawrie and Company Ltd., Ashok Travels and Tours and IRCTC, but the DoPT in an office memorandum (OM) dated September 24, 2014, said it in clear terms that those agencies should not be…
the first option. “As far as possible, air tickets on Government account may be obtained directly from the Air India/Airlines (booking counters/offices/websites) and if obtaining tickets directly from Air India/Airlines is not possible, should the services of authorised travel agents be availed of,” the OM said.
Till December 2009, the government employees had to buy ticket either from Balmer Lawrie and Company or from Ashok Travels and Tours to avail of the LTC claims. Then, railway PSU IRCTC was added as an authorised agency for the government employees to buy air tickets.
The department of expenditure in an OM dated September 5, 2014, made it clear that “no fees/service charges (by whatever nomenclature), which are not included in the “tariff” charged by Air-India/Airlines, are required to be paid to the aforementioned authorised travel agents”.

Full DoPT OM dated September 24, 2014
Procedure for booking of air-tickets on LTC- Clarification reg. 
"The undersigned is directed to refer to the conditions laid down by this  Department's O.M. No. 310111412014-Estt.(A.lV) dated 19 June, 2014, as per which  the Government employees are required to book the air tickets directly from the airlines (Booking counters, website of airlines) or by utilizing the service of Authorized  Travel Agents viz. 'M/S Balmer Lawrie & Company', 'M/s Ashok Travels & Tours' and 'IRCTC' (to the extent IRCTC is authorized as per DoPT O.M. No. 310111612002- Estt.(A) dated 02.12.2009) while undertaking LTC journey(s).
2. The matter has further been reviewed and it is clarified that the web-portal of authorized travel agents, namely M/s Balmer Lawrie and Company Ltd., M/s Ashok Travels and Tours and IRCTC will also be treated as an acceptable mode for purchase of air tickets on LTC. However, booking of air tickets through web-portals of these authorized agents would also be governed by the provisions of Department of Expenditure's O.M. No. 19024i1/2012-E-IV dated 5th September, 2014 which are as under:
(i) No feel service charges (by whatever nomenclature), which are not included in the 'tariff' charged by Air-India/airlines, are required to be paid to the  aforementioned authorised travel agents.
(ii) As far as possible, air tickets on Government account may be obtained directly from the Air India/Airlines (booking counters/offices/websites) and if obtaining tickets directly from Air India/Airlines is not possible, should the services of authorised travel agents be availed of.
3. All Ministries/Departments are advised to bring these guidelines to the notice of all their employees."

1 comment:

  1. both air-india and balmer lawrie are bleeding the government and public finance.In fact government is winking at this swindling. While air india charges what it feels, balmer lawrie charges full fare even if the booking is done very well in advance. God knows who is pocketing the difference. It would be better if the government allows only one of the two to loot the public money. If it trusts balmer lawrie, then it should allow the agency to book ticket from any airline and not just air-india. If it does not, then remove it from the authorised(to loot) list.
    Hope prime minister modi realises the reality soon.

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