Government of India
Ministry of Finance
Department of Expenditure
North Block, New Delhi.
Dated the 16th June, 2022
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. (IRCTC),
2. The choice of the travel agent for booking of ticket for tour and LTC from those in Para 1 is left open to the Ministry/Department 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,
4. 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. Bookings may be made even if the approval of the tour programme is still under process.
5. Any bookings made within less than 72 hours of intended travel on Tour, will require the submission of self-declared justification by the employee.
6. 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.
7. Employees should preferably 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 same leg of travel with the self-declared justification for the same.
8. (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 agencies only.
(b) Employees must register their official Government Email-Id with these 3 agencies to book their air tickets digitally through above modes for travel by any airlines.
9. Ministries/Departments should ensure the availability of sanctioned Budget for Domestic and Foreign travel for their employees.
10. In case of unavoidable circumstances, where the booking of ticket is done from unauthorized travel agent/website, the Financial Advisors of the Ministry/Department and Head of Department not below the rank of Joint Secretary in subordinate /attached offices are authorized to grant relaxation.
11. All Ministries/Departments 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.
12. 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.
13. Ministries/Departments must clear all previous outstanding dues to the travel agents by 31st August, 2022.
14. No Mileage Points will be generated against travel on Government account.
15. All Ministries/Departments 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.
16. This O.M. is issued in supersession of all existing instructions on the subject.
17. This is issued with the approval of the Finance Secretary & Secretary (Expenditure).