Following an announcement by the Maharashtra government about the implementation of the recommendations of the 7th Pay Commission, the government employees have more good news in store. This is because 48 lakh central government employees will soon get an opportunity to travel abroad. Under current rules employees can avail Leave Travel Concession (LTC) only if they travel within the country. (7th Pay Commission: Hike of Rs 8,000 in Minimum Pay, Increase in Fitment Factor Likely Soon?)
New rules of LTC are expected to be applicable in the next few months, after which all departments will be eligible for travelling abroad. According to a media report in Amar Ujala, the new rule has got a formal approval from the Finance Ministry and the Prime Minister’s Office.
Five countries in Central Asia, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan have been included in the new policy.
The BJP government has decided to give such benefits on the threshold of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. The timing of the implementation of new rules is crucial as it is considered as efforts to woo government employees in the elections of 2019. There are 48 lakh employees working in different departments of the central government.
The Maharashtra government has also announced its salary to the workers according to the 7th Pay Commission before the Lok Sabha elections. This decision will benefit 19 lakh people of the state. It also plans to increase the retirement age from 58 to 60 years.
This proposal has been prepared by the Ministry of External Affairs, while the Department of Personnel and Training (DOPT) is implementing this scheme in the Government of India. DOPT has forwarded this proposal to the Ministry of Civil Aviation, Tourism Ministry, Home Ministry and Department of Expenditure. It has also been said that these departments should submit their views as soon as possible.
It is expected that the Central Government employees will be able to travel abroad with their families before Diwali this year.