Vijay C Roy
Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, January 8
As the deadline (March 31) for availing the LTC cash voucher scheme is approaching and many popular passenger vehicles have a waiting period for months, the Central government employees are making a beeline to purchase new vehicle or upgrade their existing one.
Under the scheme, introduced by the Central government, employees are required to spend a sum equal to three times of the value of the deemed LTC fare on purchase of goods or services carrying a GST rate of 12% or more through digital mode between October 12, 2020 and March 31, 2021. An employee whose entitlement is Rs 1.35 lakh under the LTC is required to spend Rs 4.05 lakh to avail the benefit. The employees availing the scheme can purchase goods or avail services in the name of their spouse or other family members eligible for LTC fare as declared in their service records.
Manika Sethi (name changed), a Central government employee, has booked a sedan to avail the benefit under the scheme. “I was planning to buy a popular SUV but I was told there is a waiting period of couple of months for the same. Since the scheme is open till March 31 only, so I booked the sedan as my entitlement is around Rs 1.38 lakh as LTC,” she said.
Like Manika, many of her colleagues have purchased new vehicles or upgraded their existing ones to avail benefits under the scheme. “As the Covid pandemic has hit travel plans of employees, it makes a sense to buy a car or an SUV to claim the benefits under the scheme otherwise we will have to forego it,” said another senior Central government employee.
According to dealers, the rising demand for an own vehicle amid the pandemic coupled with low interest rates has resulted in the waiting period for cars, which varies from few weeks to nine months depending on the model and brand.