New Delhi :The Lok Sabha secretariat has asked all MPs to submit their pending claims against exchange orders for flight tickets, as the Finance Ministry has issued an order to all government departments and ministries to clear the dues of the airline following its disinvestment and sale to the Tata group.
A circular issued by the Lok Sabha secretariat on November 12 asked all members to submit claims pertaining to tickets so that payments could be made on time.
Lok Sabha MP from Assam Pradyut Bordoloi however said MPs already purchase their tickets on their own, and said he was wondering why the circular was issued. “I don’t know why this circular has been given, we can fly anywhere, if I am on an official visit for Parliament work, our tickets are reimbursed. We buy our tickets on our own, I can buy tickets on any airline, we don’t get any credit facilities. Government departments probably take credit, but we don’t,” the Congress MP told UNI.
The Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha secretariats used to issue Exchange Orders to Members of Parliament and Parliamentary Committees to get air tickets for traveling by Air India. However, following the sale of Air India to the Tata group, the Finance Ministry in an order dated October 27, had informed that Air India has stopped extending credit facility on account of purchase of air tickets and therefore, all Ministries and Department are directed to clear Air India’s dues immediately.
“Members are therefore requested to submit the claims pertaining to the tickets obtained against Exchange Orders immediately so that the payment to Air India is made in time. Kind cooperation of Members is solicited,” the circular said.
Both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha members are eligible for 34 single air journey in a year, with their spouse or any number of companions or relatives. The spouse or companions can travel alone eight times in a year to meet the member.
Last week, the Rajya Sabha had issued a similar circular and asked MPs to purchase air tickets “in cash” till further clarification is issued.
The Rajya Sabha had asked members to submit their T.A. claims in the prescribed form along with original air tickets and boarding passes purchased against the exchange orders already issued either by the Rajya Sabha or Lok Sabha Secretariat for the purpose of attending Committee meetings, tours.
Tata Sons on October 8 won the bid for acquiring debt-laden state-run national carrier Air India offering Rs 18,000 crore for acquiring 100 per cent shareholding.