GOVERNMENT OF ORISSA
No. 50427/F/Bt.-I-22/2006 Bhubaneswar, Dated the 11th December, 2006
Sub: Rationalisation of the restrictions imposed on Air Travel by officials of State Government /PSUS within India.
Several restrictions were imposed on air travel for official visit by state Government officials and officials of PSUs/ Co-operatives/ Autonomous organizations etc. vide Finance Department O.M. No 10954/F., dt. 14.03.2001 read with F.D.O.M. NO. 52010/F., dt. 08.12.2003. One of the important restrictions relate to taking prior approval of Chief Secretary through Finance Department for the entitled officers like Principal Secretaries/ Secretaries/ Special Secretaries etc. if they are required to undertake journey by air more than once in a month
2. In the mean time some attractive incentive schemes have been floated by Indian Airlines and other private Airlines also. One such attractive incentive scheme is regarding purchase of Indian Airlines flight coupon under the “Smart Super Saver Scheme”. The fare under the Smart Super Saver Scheme is cheaper than the normal fare. Further Govt. of India in the mean time have rationalized the restrictions on air travel vide O.M. NO.7(2)/E-Cord/2005 dt. 23.11.2005 & NO. 19024/1/E-IV/2005 dt. 24.03.2006 of the Department of Expenditure.
3. After taking into account the need to avoid delay, remove avoidable restrictions and avail the benefit of several competitive incentives offered by Indian Airlines/ Private Airlines, State Govt. have been pleased to rationalize and modify the existing guidelines/ restrictions on air travel as indicated below.
i) All officers in the pay scale of Rs. 15,100/- to Rs. 18,300/- and above are entitled to air travel. Such entitled officers can undertake air journey only once in a month with the permission of their next higher authority, if they are required to undertake journey by air more than once in a month in the exigency of official business, prior permission of Chief Secretary is to be taken.
ii) In case of Chairman/ C.M.D./ M.D. of corporations or cooperatives/ State Enterprises etc., approval of Chief Secretary is required for undertaking air journey on official work.
iii) Official air journey inside the country upto six times in a calendar year may be taken up by Chairman, Orissa Public Service Commission, state Election Commission, Staff Selection Commission, Orissa Electricity Regulatory commission, State Human Rights Commission for which approval of Chief Secretary would not be necessary. The Chairmen of these commissions may approve the air journey in respect of other members of the Commissions upto six times in a calendar year. For rest air journey exceeding six times in a year inside the country and for air journey outside the country, prior permission of the Government would be required in these cases.
iv) Traveling by air in the Executive class shall not be allowed or undertaken except in case of Chief Minister. However, for Rail Journey officers entitled to travel in First Class A/C in the rail can travel in their entitled class in stead of Second Class a/c as earlier stipulated in f.d. o.m. No. 10954/F dt. 14.03.2001.
4. In order to observe economy in revenue expenditure, air travel should be restricted to the absolute necessity and the expenditure should be adjusted within the budgetary ceiling under Travel Expenses approved for the Department, in this connection it may be borne in mind that the principal Resident Commissioner and Resident Commissioner are competent to deal with separate Ministries on behalf of our state Government and all Departments of State Government required to have discussions with Ministries shall appropriately brief the Principal Resident commissioner/ Resident Commissioner, Orissa about the subjects for which they would have gone to New Delhi for discussions with the Ministry officials. Consequently frequenting of officers for discussions with the Ministry officials at New Delhi should be discouraged except in cases where the PRC/ RC is of the opinion that such visits are essential and such opinion should be intimated to the concerned Departments sufficiently in advance, assigning reasons therefore. Hence, principal secretaries/ secretaries shall limit their tours outside the State, particularly in air, to attend urgent and un-avoidable matters. For routine and less important meetings at New Delhi, the services of the Resident Commissioner shall be utilized.
5. The Principal secretaries/ Secretaries of the Departments are going outside headquarters either on tour or otherwise which, at times, results in avoidable dislocation of work- particularly when their services are required by Chief Minister and other Ministers. Hence, principal Secretaries/ Secretaries of the Departments shall inform their respective Ministers unfailingly before leaving headquarters on tours or otherwise and shall send a copy of their programme to the office of the Chief Minister for information.
б. Government of India, in the meantime, allowed their officers to undertake air travel both domestic and overseas on official account on airlines other than Indian Airlines / Air India provided the criteria for selecting the alternative airlines for official travel are based on better and more competitive prices being offered by other airlines. Governments of India have also allowed to avail various incentive schemes and concessional fare offered by Indian Airlines/ Air India to ensure utmost economy in air travel.
7. Keeping in view the guidelines of Government of India as indicated in para-6 above and taking into account the operational necessities, Government official may undertake air journey on Indian Airlines as well as other Airlines.
8. The officers not below the rank of commissioner-cum-Secretaries/ Special Secretaries/ Secretary to Government who are required to make air journey frequently because of their nature of work, are free to avail the benefit of purchasing flight coupons at the offered concessional price by availing the TA advance which would be adjusted from the TA Bills on production of copy of the Air Tickets.
9. Wherever the officers who seek to utilize the service of travel agents, the services of Orissa Tourism Development Corporation should be normally utilized. If for a particular Airline/ Airlines the Orissa Tourism Development Corporation is not authorized to book tickets the services of any other travel agent can be availed.
10. The stipulations and guidelines outlined in this office memorandum are applicable mutatis mutandis to the Public Sector undertakings/ Co-operatives/ urban Local Bodies/ Autonomous Organisations/ Universities etc.
11. The provisions of this Office Memorandum will come into force from the date of issue and accordingly the para 6 of the F.D. OM NO. 10954/F., dated 14.03.2001, F.D.O.M. No. 52010/ F dated 8.12.2003 and 296/F dated 4.1.2005 stand modified /revised from the said date.
Sd/- Principal Secretary to Govt.