The government is offering one-time relaxation of the condition regarding exercising of option for admissibility of official car or in lieu of that Transport Allowance at higher rates during COVID-19 pandemic. As of now, the rules are as per the Office Memorandum dated 07.07.2017 regarding grant of Transport Allowance to Central Government employees wherein in Para 2 (iv) conditions have been mentioned for exercising of option for admissibility of official car or in lieu of that Transport Allowance at higher rates in respect of officers in Pay Level 14 and above.
These rules are a part of the implementation of the recommendations of the 7th Central Pay Commission relating to grant of Transport Allowance to Central Government employees.
Due to ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the government had received several references seeking relaxation regarding change of option as some officers preferred their own car in place of official car and opted to draw Transport Allowance. After a change in the circumstances, these officers want to revert back to the facility of an official car.
In view of the peculiar circumstances arisen due to COVID-19 pandemic, it has been decided to allow one-time relaxation for exercising of option for availing official car in respect of officers in Pay Level 14 and above. Such relaxation shall be allowed in respect of only those officers who changed their option during the period from 1st April 2020 to 31st December 2020 subject to the condition that they attended the office during the period.
Earlier in December 2020, the government had issued a clarification regarding admissibility of Transport Allowance during nation-wide Lockdown from 23rd March to 20th April and further up to 20th May 2020 due to COVID-19 pandemic, as during this period various employees could not attend their offices. It was clarified that:
i. Transport Allowance is granted to Central Government employees to compensate them for the cost incurred on account of commuting between residence and office. The Central Government employees, who could not attend office for a whole calendar month during Lockdown period, are not eligible to draw Transport Allowance for that month as these employees had not incurred any expenditure for commuting office.
ii. The Central Government employees, who could not attend office and worked from home in a whole calendar month, are not eligible to draw Transport Allowance for that month as these employees had not incurred any expenditure for commuting office.
Source : Financial Express