Streamlining Air Travel on Government Account

The Ministry of Railways in India has issued instructions regarding the booking of air tickets on the government account. The decision was made due to the government’s plan for disinvestment of Air India. Only three authorized travel agents can be used for air travel, where the government of India bears the cost of air passage. The choice of travel agent is left to the individual based on convenience and service quality. Employees are to choose the cheapest fare available, preferably for non-stop flights, and are encouraged to book tickets at least 21 days prior to travel. Tickets must be booked digitally through the self-booking tool or online booking website of the authorized travel agencies. All railways and public utilities are directed to ensure strict compliance and clear all previous outstanding dues by February 15th, 2023. No mileage points will be generated against travel on government account.

Modification of instructions regarding Booking of Air Tickets on Government account

GOVERNMENT OF INDIA (भारत सरकार)
MINISTRY OF RAILWAYS (रेल मंत्रालय)
RAILWAY BOARD (रेलवे बोर्ड)

RBE No.28/2023

No. F(E)I/2022/AL-28/1

New Delhi, dated: 09.02.2023

General Manager (P),
All Indian Railways/PUs etc.
(As per standard mailing list)

Subject: Modification of instructions regarding Booking of Air Tickets on Government account.

In view of the decision of the Government for disinvestment of Air India, it has already been decided that in all cases of air travel where the Government of India bears the cost of air passage, air tickets shall be purchased only from the three authorized Travel Agents viz.

i, M/s Balmer Lawrie & Company Limited (BLCL)
ii. M/s Ashok Travels & Tours(ATT)
iii, Indian Railways Catering and Tourism Corporation Ltd. TRCTC)

  1. Ministry of Finance, Department of Expenditure vide their O.M. No. 19024/03/2021/E.IV, dated 16 June, 2022 has issued certain instructions regarding booking of air -tickets on Government account in supersession to their earlier instructions on the subject. Ministry of Finance’s modified instructions are adopted and circulated to all Indian Railways/PUs in the following manner:
  2. The choice of the Travel agent from amongst the 03 Travel agents under para-1, for booking of ticket for tour and LTC is left open to the Railways/PUs and to the official in case of self. booking, based on convenience and service quality. Tickets for all employees for a single tour should be done through one selected Travel Agent only. No agency charges/convenience fees will be paid to these three booking agencies.
  3. Employees are to choose flight having the Best Available Fare on their entitled travel class which is the Cheapest Fare available, preferably for Non-stop flight in a given slot at the time of booking:-

(a) On the day of travel in the desired 3 hours slot of following time band – 00.00 to 03.00, 03.00 to 06.00, 06.00 to 09.00, 09.00 to 12.00, 12.00 to 15.00, 15.00 to 18.00, 18.00 to 21.00, 21.00 to 24.00.

(b) with provision of optimizing within a 10% price band, for convenience and comfort.

  1. Employees are encouraged to book flight tickets at least 21 days prior to the intended date of travel on tour and LTC, to avail the most competitive fares and minimize burden on the exchequer. Accordingly, wherever possible, approval of the tour programme and LTC may be obtained at least 21 days prior to the intended date of travel.
  2. Any booking made within less than 72 hours of intended travel on Tour, will require the submission of self-declared justification by the employee.
  3. Employees are also encouraged to avoid unnecessary cancellations. Cancellations made less than 24 hours before intended travel, will require the submission of a self-declared justification by the employee.
  4. Employees should préferably book only one ticket for each leg of intended travel. Holding of more than one ticket is not allowed. However, in case of special exigencies or exceptional circumstances, a maximum of two tickets for the alternative flights for different time-slot may be booked for the same leg of travel with the self-declared justification for the same. In such exceptional circumstances, the booking of two alternative flights be done with the approval of the authority competent to approve the air travel.

(a) While tickets may be arranged by the office through the Travel Agent, employees are encouraged to make ticket booking digitally through the Self Booking Tool/online booking website/portal of these 3 authorized Travel agencies only.

(b) Employees must register their official Government Email-id with these 3 Travel agencies to book their air tickets digitally through above modes for travel ‘by any airlines.

  1. Railways/PUs should ensure the availability of sanctioned Budget for Domestic and Foreign travel for their employees.
  2. In case of unavoidable circumstances, where the booking of ticket is done from unauthorized travel agent/website, (i) JS/Railway Board in cases of Railway Board, (ii) PHoD/CHoD/HoD with independent charge not below SAG level in Zonal-Railways/PUs & (iii) DRM in Divisions are authorized to grant relaxation with Finance concurrence.
  3. All Railways/PUs are to clear their dues on account of air ticket to the concerned travel agent within a maximum of 30 days from completion of journey.
  4. To ensure timely payment of air ticket to the travel agents, to confirm the performance of journey, the employee has to submit a certificate/undertaking in prescribed proforma (enclosed as Annexure-1) within 72 hours of completion of journey. TA bill may be submitted later as per the existing rules.

14, Railways/PUs must clear all previous outstanding dues to the travel agents by 15th February 2023.

  1. No Mileage Points will be generated against travel on Government account.
  2. All Railways/PUs are directed to’ ensure strict compliance of the order and to widely circulate this O.M. in all offices including Attached/Subordinate Offices/Autonomous Bodies under their control.
  3. The instructions regarding Air Travel entitlement of Railway employees as issued under Board’s letter No. F(E)I/2017/AL-28/41, dated 24.08.2017, 25.09.2017, 24.04.2018, 08.05.2018 & 10.05.2018 and as consolidated vide Board’s letter No. F(E)I/2021/AL-28/47, dated 13.08.2021 shall remain in force.
  4. This letter is issued in supersession of Board’s earlier instructions issued vide letter of even No. dated 11.01.2022 on the subject.

19, This issues with the approval of the Board (MF, CRB & CEO).

(Sonali Chaturvedi)
Joint Director Finance (Estt.)
Railway Board ,
Tele No. 011-23047024

Source: indianrailways.gov.in

Streamlining Air Travel on Government Account

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