New Delhi: Coming to the aid of Central government employees with disabilities, the Centre has decided to extend travel allowance for escorts accompanying them during official tours and training.
A first-of-its kind initiative by the Union government, the facility has been provided for the differently-abled employees on official overseas assignment as well.
The move is expected to benefit around 6000 employees with different types of disabilities.
"It has now been decided to allow travelling allowance in respect of attendant/escort for accompanying a government servant with disabilities during travel while on tour/training, etc, to be claimed by government servants with disabilities," an Office Memorandum by the Department of Expenditure of the Ministry of Finance said.
Of the 6000 Government servants with disabilities, nearly 5,000 are physically impaired, over 800 fall under the category of hearing impaired, while about 500 were visually challenged.
As per the office memorandum, Government servants with disabilities can claim travelling allowances for their escorts, if the field office or local administrative offices, where they would be visiting for tour or training within the country or Indian Missions abroad, for overseas visits, officially express their inability to provide an attendant of their own.
Mileage allowance would be admissible to the escorts at the same rate and similar class of accommodation as government servants with disabilities are entitled for.
The facility of travelling allowance for the escort would only be admissible to government servants with disabilities, wherein it is certified by the competent Medical Authority that such a person compulsorily requires assistance of another person for travel, the office memorandum stated.
"State Governments are expected to follow the guidelines issued by the Union Government in this regard. This would be beneficial for Government servants with disabilities employed in State Governments also," Awanish Kumar Awasthi, Joint Secretary, Department of Persons with Disabilities, Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment said.