New Delhi: More than 50 lakh central government employees have been eagerly awaiting the implementation of 7th Pay Commission recommendations. It has been quite a long since the employees demanded the minimum pay hike to be increased to Rs 21,000 from Rs 18,000. However, a section of them can take solace from the latest announcement made by the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) under the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions. The ministry said earlier this week that government employees and their spouses will now be able to avail Leave Travel Concession (LTC).

The ministry said under the existing LTC rules, government employees and their spouses working in Indian Railways are not entitled to the avail facility of LTC as the facility of “Free Pass” is available to them. However, the 7th pay panel recommended that they be included in the LTC fold.

“The matter has been considered in this department in consultation with Ministry of Railways. It has been decided that Railway employees may be allowed to avail all-India LTC once in a block of four years…”The ‘All-India LTC’ will be purely optional for railway employees,” the ministry has said.

The ministry, however, clarified that all the railway employees shall continue to be governed by the Railway Servants (Pass) Rules and availing of the “All India LTC” under the CCS (LTC) Rules by them will be facilitated through a special order under the relevant provision of the said Pass Rules.

It was also made clear that the railway employees will not be eligible for “Home Town LTC” and will have to surrender the Privilege Passes (concessional or free tickets) admissible to them in the calendar year in which they intend to avail the LTC facility.

However, they would continue to be eligible for other kinds of passes such as the duty pass, school pass and special passes on medical grounds, as admissible under the pass rules, the order stated.

Meanwhile, Mizoram finance minister Lalsawta has informed the state legislature that the state government intended to implement the 7th central pay commission during 2018-2019.

He said that the state government would incur additional expenditure of Rs 563.24 crore if and when the seventh central pay commission recommendation was implemented.