THE Finance Ministry has asked Government employees to opt for ‘cheapest fare available’ on their entitled travel class and book air tickets at least three weeks prior to their date of travel for tours and LTC, as it looks to cut down on unnecessary expenditure.
The Ministry further said that employees should book only one ticket for each leg of intended travel, make bookings even if approval of the tour programme is under process and also avoid “unnecessary cancellations”. Government employees are currently required to purchase air tickets only from three authorised travel agents -- Balmer Lawrie & Co, Ashok Travel & Tours and IRCTC.
Any booking made within less than 72 hours of intended travel on tour or any cancellation made less than 24 hours before intended travel will require the submission of self-declared justification by the employee, as per the modified instructions regarding booking of air tickets on the Government account. “Employees are to choose flights 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 at the time of booking,” said the office memorandum of the Department of Expenditure.
Tickets for all employees for a single tour should be done through one selected travel agent only and no charges/fees should be paid to these booking agents, as per the instruction.
“Employees are encouraged to book flight tickets at least 21 days prior to the intended travel on tour and LTC, to avail the most competitive fares and minimise burden on the exchequer,” it said.