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Sunday, October 30, 2011

The Costliest Travel Concession Ever!


Most of the people in salaried class do get leave travel concession (LTC) annually or every two years. Depending on the employers the package benefits vary. If, by misfortune, you belong to the Government of India you do get LTC, but with repressively dictatorial conditions:
  • You have to travel by Air India come what may as if it’s you people that makes the bankrupt airlines viable and competitive. You have to go over their special LTC counters and book your tickets physically with their options for your travel. Even if their pilots are on never ending strike you are not spared. And you have to ignore all cheaper air ticket offers available online.
  • If your compulsory airline fails you at the last moment you can book only at the government appointed travel agencies most of which may not have online booking facilities. You can send in an application for booking and it hardly matters if your tickets arrive after your leave period is over.
I had recounted my sufferings earlier where my only crime was to opt for LTC for going to my hometown.
Coming back from my leave I was gratified to find an advance of 45,000 rupees (approx. 50 rupees a US dollar) in my bank balance which you cannot expect to get normally. My local office took account of my sufferings and loss of money due to the Air India strike and sanctioned the actual cost of travel (around 30.000 rupees). But the order had to go to the chief paying authorities in Delhi for final approval and payment.
After two months I was horrified to find 23,250 rupees deducted from my salary of August, 2011. On inquiry I got the Delhi letter that said under the booking restrictions I was not eligible for LTC and since the advance was given to me two months before a penalty of 1500 rupees also added making the total 46,500 rupees. It was to be deducted in two months in two EMIs. So I lost the same amount in September salary too.
But it was hardly over. The cuts continued in October too making the total cost of trying to avail LTC a staggering 69,750 rupees and counting! My Diwali darkened!
Maybe I am set to be punished for my crime for lifetime. So I am set to be the first Government of India officer ever to turn beggar while in service and to run to the streets for shelter!

LTC is a frightening word if you are in……..!




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