Rs 10,000 Interest-Free Festival Advance, LTC Payout For Government Employees Among Announcements Made by FM Nirmala Sitharaman Today

During a press conference on Monday, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced a ‘Cash Voucher Scheme for leave travel concession (LTC) for government employees and staff of state-run organisations ahead of the upcoming festive season.

October 12, 2020

National

4 min

zeenews

New Delhi, October 12: The government on Monday announced a slew of schemes to trigger economic revival via stimulus measures. During a press conference on Monday, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced a ‘Cash Voucher Scheme for leave travel concession (LTC) for government employees and staff of state-run organisations ahead of the upcoming festive season. The scheme will generate additional consumer demand of around Rs 28,000 crore, Sitharaman said.

During the meet, Sitharaman said special Festival Advance Scheme for non-gazetted employees is being revived as a one-time measure, for gazetted employees too. All central govt. employees can now get an interest-free advance of Rs 10,000, in the form of a prepaid RuPay Card, to be spent by March 31, 2021.

Here are the key highlights:

  1. Central government employees get LTC in a block of four years-one travel to anywhere in India and one hometown or two for home town visits.
  2. Air or rail fare, as per pay scale or entitlement, is reimbursed and in additional leave encashment of 10 days (pay and dearness allowance) is paid.
  3. Under LTC Cash Voucher Scheme, government employees can opt to receive cash amounting to leave encashment plus 3 times ticket fare, to buy items which attract GST of 12% or more. Only digital transactions allowed, GST invoice to be produced: FM Nirmala Sitharaman
  4. The government on Monday announced a one-time Rs 10,000 interest-free festival advance to all its officers and employees as part of plans to increase consumer spending to spur demand in the economy.
  5. At a press conference, Sitharaman said festival advance was discontinued from 6th Pay Commission for central government employees.
  6. Balance loans worth Rs 7,500 crore for other states will be given, in proportion to share in Finance Commission devolution, which would include 50 percent initial disbursement and the balance would be disbursed the use of first instalment. The unutilised funds will be reallocated.
  7. Rs 2,000 crore IOC this loan to states would be allocated to them only who meet at least three out of four reforms announced earlier under the Atmanirbhar Bharat Package.
  8. The loans provided would be used for new or ongoing capital projects needing funds and settling the bills of contractors and suppliers on such projects.
  9. Sitharaman announced special interest-free 50-year loans worth Rs 12,000 crore for capital expenditure. This comes at a time when states are finding it hard to make ends meet amid the pandemic and the Centres inability to pay GST Compensation Cess,
  10. Out of the total amount, Rs 1,600 crore would be aimed towards the Northeastern states, and Rs 900 crore loan would be provided to Uttarakhand and Himachal.

During the press meet today, Sitharaman said the pandemic has adversely affected the economy and the needs of the poor and weaker sections addressed in various announcements by the govt. The Finance Minister added that supply constraints have somewhat eased but consumer demand still needs to be given a boost.

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