At first glance, both transport allowance and traveling allowance might look the same. But, the two are very different for Central Government employees. Recent spate of orders issued by the DOPT and Finance Ministry on TRAVELLING ALLOWANCE was the inspiration behind this write-up.
In its order last week, the DOPT said that senior officers who have to travel by air for official purposes may not have to submit the boarding passes while settlement of TA claims. They will have to henceforth submit the passes only when required. The very next day, the Finance Ministry issued an order that made it mandatory for senior officials to submit boarding passes alongwith TA bills for air journey performed on Government account.
The concept of Transport Allowance was introduced by the 5th CPC to defray the cost of commuting between residence and office. The 6th CPC while recommending CCA to be subsumed in Transport Allowance. Transport Allowance is given to the Central Government employees for their everyday commute to and from the workplace. Based on their Grade Pay or Band Pay, this could be anything between Rs. 400 to Rs. 3200 per month. It also depends on the population of the city or town where the office is located. Transport allowance is twice the normal amount for physically challenged employees.
Travelling allowance is given to employees who have to travel out of station for official work. There are a number of rules, guidelines and restrictions that control travelling allowance. DOPT and the Ministry of Finance issues amendment orders related to travelling allowances from time to time.
Traveling allowance differs based on the employee’s grade pay. The ‘Grade Pay’ for determing the TA/DA entitlement is as indicated in Central Civil Service(RP)Rules 2008. Depending on the grade pay, the employee has to opt for the appropriate class of accommodation while travelling via bus, train, ship or by aeroplane. The employee can refund only that amount that he is entitlement for. The Finance Ministry order published on 23.9.2008, OM explained the details of the Travelling allowance and entitlements for Government officials as per title given below…
Government officials on Tour: Travelling Allowance and Entitlements, Entitlement for journeys on tour and travel entitlements within the country, International Travel Entitlement, Mileage allowance for journeys by road, Daily Allowance, Travelling allowance on Transfer, Transfer Grant and Packing Allowance, Transportation of Personal Effects, Transportation of Conveyance, Travelling allowance Entitlement of Retiring employees, Lumpsum Transfer Grant and Packing Allowance
Daily Allowance : If the official tour on is of longer duration, then the employee is paid Daily Allowance to meet his boarding and lodging expenses. This too depends on the Grade pay of the employee. This is what is known as TA/DA.
While seeking the TA/DA claims, the employee has to present receipts and bills. In this regard, the notification, that senior officials are not required to submit the boarding passes while seeking reimbursement of their air travel expenses, was confusing. The order is not applicable to Group ‘C’ employees.
But some have misunderstood the order and have assumed that it was for the air travel facility that is available as part of the Leave Travel Concession.