Government employees are no longer required to fly with Air India | Latest news India

Government employees are no longer required to fly with Air India |  Latest news India

The Center will end Air India’s monopoly on the air transport of millions of government employees after its privatization, although much of the ticketing requirements of employees will continue to be handled by three state-owned companies.

Businesses are likely to get agency commissions and ticketing fees from the huge pool of government employees, estimated at a few million.

On November 2, the secretary of the public asset management and investment department, Tuhin Kanta Panda, said that it would no longer be mandatory for government employees to travel on Air India after its privatization.

Air India also stopped offering ministries credit for the purchase of air tickets, prompting the Ministry of Finance to request all ministries to settle airline fees. Air India stood at Rs 300 million for VVIP flights and staff travel. Rs 34 million was owed for VVIP flights, and 269 ​​million rupees for officials’ fines.

The old system required government employees to book with the old national airline in the sectors it served. “For other places, where there was no Air India [flights] or its subsidiaries, we had to obtain prior permission to buy tickets, ”said a senior government official, who did not want to be named.

That has now changed, but three state-owned firms Balmer Lawrie, Ashoka Travels and Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) will continue to handle all ticket reservations for government employees. Balmer Lawrie, a company under the Ministry of Petroleum, provides logistical support and a number of other businesses, while Ashoka Travels and Tours Ltd is a subsidiary of India Tourism Development Corporation (ITDC). The third entity, IRCTC, operates a travel portal and offers ticket booking and catering service for the Indian railways. Both IRCTC and Balmer Lawrie are publicly traded.

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India has eight airlines in various sectors, plus some regional airlines that mainly focus on some routes under the government’s Udaan scheme.

A circular from the Lok Sabha secretariat dated November 5 stated: “Therefore, all officers are requested to purchase air tickets in cash at the counter of Air India / Indian Airlines or from three agents, that is, Balmer Lawrie and Co. Ashoka Travels and Tours Ltd and IRCTC, authorized by the Ministry of Finance for official trips to be made ”.

The Lok Sabha circular, which cites the General Rules of Finance, also told officials that all air ticket invoices must be submitted within the stipulated period. “From now on, in no case will any request to comply with the TA / DA claim be accepted after the stipulated time limit,” he added.

Air India operates a ticket counter within Parliament to serve MPs.

The Union government sold Air India to Tata Sons last month. Tata Sons bought the national airline for Rs 18 billion in a deal that will no longer see large ransom packages for the carrier that was widely seen as a burden to the treasury.

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