At last central govt. Officers working in field formations could breath easy after this new stand taken by the department on TA Rules.
As you are all aware of the modified Travelling Allowance Rules as per Office Memorandum dated 23.09.08 consequent on Sixth pay commission recommendations, which was based on reimbursement principle (i.e) Officers have to produce receipts for the amount spent on accommodation, food, transportation etc.
This principle may be fine for the officers who travel to a cities, as the charges for lodging, transportation etc could be claimed at actuals subject to a maximum ceiling.
However, Officers who had to travel on duty to remote places like villages sea shores were really put to hardship because they could not get the receipts for the amount spent by them for food as it would be meaningless to ask for serially numbered bill from a small Hotelier or “Dhabawala” in those places. Even for those who travel long distances in trains in which fare is not inclusive of food, it would be very difficult to get receipts for food from pantry car or railway platform salesmen.
Now, this hardship has been done away with by the issue of new Ofice Memorandum dated 22.01.2009, as the Govt has decided to sanction daily allowance on tour, based on earlir office memorandum dated 17.04.1998 in case the officers opted to claim slab rate based daily allowance instead of reimbursement based travelling allowance prescribed vide office memorandum dated 23.09.08.
In a nutshell, this new order provides the choice to the Officers for claiming the Travelling allowance either based on old TA rates as per the office memo dated 17.04.98 or at actuals using the bills for food etc as per the office memorandum dated 23.09.08. However, Officers can not mix up these two orders for a single tour.