According to a PTI report citing top officials, the central government is considering allowing its employees to go abroad on Leave Travel Concession (LTC). The sources further said that a proposal has been finalized by the Personnel Ministry for the same, and comments from other concerned departments such as Home, Tourism, Civil Aviation and Expenditure are asked to be submitted "at the earliest possible."
The plan, which has been mooted by the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), proposes to include five central Asian countries that are, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan; under the LTC scheme. The communique in this regard that has been accessed by the PTI.
If approved, it will allow central government employees to visit these countries with an aim to increase India's footprint in the strategically important Central Asian region. In the month of March, the government had said it has shelved a proposal to allow LTC to its employees to visit SAARC countries.
The LTC allows a grant of leave and ticket reimbursement to eligible central government employees.
"A proposal of LTC facility to government employees to SAARC countries with a purpose to enhance people to people contact and boost relations in the SAARC region was examined by the government and after thorough examination of all aspects involved, the proposal was found not feasible and decided not to take it forward," the Minister of State for Personnel, Jitendra Singh had said back then.
The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) includes eight nations comprising Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
Inputs from PTI