In the latest set of FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions), the Department of Expenditure announced that central government employees availing the LTC cash voucher scheme can purchase goods or services in the name of spouse or other family members.
To a question on whether purchase receipt can be in the name of any dependent, the FAQ said, "The invoices of the goods and services purchased as per the scheme may be in the name of spouse or any family member who are eligible for LTC fare as declared in the service records".
It was also clarified that an employee can claim reimbursement for the purchase of goods and services, attracting GST of 12 percent or more, on or after 12 October even if he/she has not formally exercised the option of availing the scheme.
It was also informed that purchase of goods or services on EMI is also permissible under the scheme, provided they have been bought after 12 October and have a GST invoice.
To push consumption in the coronavirus-ridden economy, the central government on 12 October announced a scheme for payment of cash allowance equivalent to LTC fare to central government employees subject to fulfilment of certain conditions.
The scheme was introduced to make use of the unused LTC for the current block of 2018-21 that would otherwise lapse since employees could not fully utilise it due to disruptions caused by COVID-19.
The incentive can be used by employees to buy goods/ services worth 3 times the fare and 1 time the leave encashment before 31 March 2021. Since the cash allowance of LTC fare is in lieu of deemed actual travel, the same would be eligible for income-tax exemption on the lines of existing income-tax exemption available for LTC fare.
The payments for such purchases have to be made via digital mode or cheque, demand draft, NEFT/RTGS.