LTC Cash Vouchers For Govt Staff, Rs 12,000 Cr Interest-Free Loan to States: Sitharaman Announces Schemes to Boost Spending |Festival Advance For Government Employees Till March

LTC Cash Vouchers For Govt Staff, Rs 12,000 Cr Interest-Free Loan to States: Sitharaman Announces Schemes to Boost Spending |Festival Advance For Government Employees Till March.

The central government today made a big announcement to boost the economy and alleviate economic hardships during the festive season. In this regard, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitaram announced the LTC Cash Voucher and Festival Advance Scheme. Under the scheme announced today, more than 1 crore employees of the Center will be given cash vouchers for Leave Travel Concession (LTC). Apart from this, under the festival advance scheme, employees get Rs. Up to Rs 10,000 will also be available.

What is LTC Scheme?

Under this, government employees will get a cash voucher from which they can spend and this will also boost the economy. Employees of public sector banks will also benefit. The cash payment in lieu of LTC which will be digital will be for 2018-21. Under this train or plane fare will be paid and it will be tax free. For this the employee's rent and other expenses should be three times. Similarly goods or services have to be taken from the seller registered in GST and payment has to be made digitally. The finance minister said this would generate about Rs 28,000 crore in demand economy through the expenditure of central and state employees.

Festival Advance Scheme

The Finance Minister informed that the Festival Advance scheme is being launched only once again this year. Under this, all types of employees will be given an advance of Rs 10,000, which they can deposit in 10 installments. A will be available until March 31, 2021. It will be given as a prepaid card.

Will provide interest-free loans to the states

To boost economic activity, the central government has given Rs. 12 thousand crore interest free loan. The loan must be repaid in 50 years. It will have three parts- the first Rs. 2500 crore will be given to Northeast, Uttarakhand and Himachal. After this, as per the recommendation of the Finance Commission, Rs. 7500 crore will be given to other states. Third, Rs. Of the Rs 2,000 crore, it will be given to states that will implement at least three of the four announced self-reliance schemes. The full loan will be disbursed before March 31, 2021. This will be in addition to the loans already available for the states.

Union Territory, J&K, extends air travel limits to the Northeast

Earlier, the central government extended the air travel limit under the LTC scheme in the North East states, Jammu and Kashmir (J&K), Andaman and Nicobar and Ladakh by two years to September 25, 2022. Under this, any employee of the Central Government can go to these places by air. In addition, employees who are not eligible for Air Fare will also get the benefit of this scheme. Such employees will have to travel in economy class.

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday announced two special schemes for government staff in a bid to boost consumer demand: a Leave Travel Concession-related cash voucher and a festival advance. The schemes are likely to lead to additional consumer demand of ₹ 36,000 crore by March 31, 2021, which will help those in need on account of the coronavirus pandemic. Employees of central and state governments as well as public sector companies will be able to use these schemes to spend money on festivals of their choice till March 31.

Here are 10 things to know:

"Indications are that savings of government and organised sector employees have increased, we want to incentivize such people to boost demand for the benefit of the less fortunate," the Finance Minister said.

Under the LTC cash voucher scheme, government employees can opt to receive cash amounting to leave encashment and three times the ticket fare to purchase items that attract GST of at least 12 per cent.

This amount can be spend only on buying non-food GST-rated items and the purchases will have to be made in digital mode from GST-registered outlets, the Finance Minister said.

The money was originally meant to be utilised by government employees for leaves that got wasted due to the coronavirus pandemic-related restrictions.

Since travel is difficult to undertake during the pandemic, the government will pay the entitled fare as cash vouchers which have to be spent by March 31, 2021, Ms Sitharaman said.

These benefits will cost the government around ₹ 5,675 crore. The government has also allowed public sector companies such as state-run banks to avail this facility. For them, the cost will be ₹ 1,900 crore.

The Finance Minister also announced the reintroduction of a festival advance for central government employees through the Special Festival Advance Scheme, till March 31. This advance was abolished as per 7th Pay Commission recommendations.

As a one-time measure, an interest-free advance will be given to all officers and employees of the central government, the Finance Minister said.

Under this scheme, an interest-free advance of ₹ 10,000 will be given to government employees through a pre-loaded RuPay debit card. This money will be recoverable in 10 instalments, till March 31. The expenditure on this is estimated at ₹ 4,000 crore, according to the government.

The announcements come at a time when the country's GDP or gross domestic product contracted a record 23.9 per cent in the April-June period as the quarter fully captured the damage caused by the coronavirus pandemic-related restrictions. The RBI has said the GDP is likely to shrink 9.5 per cent in the current financial year.

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