Bringing in respite to central government employees who failed to claim their Leave Travel Concession (LTC) benefit by May 31, the Department of Expenditure at the Ministry of Finance has issued a fresh clarification regarding its LTC Cash Voucher Scheme. The latest notification directed central government departments and ministries to consider LTC claims made even after the deadline i.e. March 31. Giving the relaxation, the Department of Expenditure at the Ministry of Finance issued Office Memorandum and said that they had received various requests to extend the date of settlement in wake of the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and the difficulties faced in settling the claims and bills.
“Representations have been received in this Department to extend the date of settlement of bills/claims beyond 31.05.2021 in view of the situation existing due to the Covid-19 and difficulties being faced in settling the claims/bills. It has been decided that Ministries/Departments may consider settlement of those claims/purchases made on or before 31.03.2021 beyond the due date i.e. 31.05.2021," finance ministry said.
Generally, the LTC claims have to be made before the end of the financial year i.e. March 31 of every year. However, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the deadline this year was first extended to May 31 and a memorandum in this regard was issued on May 7.But, since the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic hit a peak during the month of May, many employees could not submit their claim for LTC cash vouchers and their representative organisation had approached the government for another extension in dates.
Last year, the central government had announced a special LTC cash package for its employees. Since it was not possible to travel because of the COVID-19 lockdowns, the government allowed the employees to receive money through a cash voucher scheme under which a central government servant had to submit bills/claims to their respective department and get cash in return.
The invoices for goods and services purchased under the scheme may be in the name of the spouse or other family member who is qualified for LTC Fare. Multiple bills are accepted when taking advantage of the scheme and the purchases must be from the date of issue of the LTC Cash Voucher Scheme Order dated October 12, 2020, till March 31 this year.