It is good news for the state employees as the Uttar Pradesh government has allowed advance payment during festivals and approved cash vouchers for employees in lieu of LTC (leave travel concession) so that they may celebrate festivals with traditional gaiety.
The state government also announced a minimum support price (MSP) for corn.
These decisions were taken at a cabinet meeting held in Lucknow on Friday.
A state government spokesman said that the advance facility would be available to all the state government employees and would be applicable till March 31.
“Under the scheme, the employee will be paid an interest-free advance of Rs 10,000 as special festival package and this can be repaid in 10 instalments,” the spokesman said.
However, the decision would burden the state exchequer with Rs 1,000 crore.
The spokesman said that once an employee applied for the loan, his head of the department would provide him with a pre-loaded SBI Pay-card through which he could withdraw the money as per his requirement.
“The employee can avail this advance for all festivals listed in the holiday list of the state government,” he said.
Earlier this week, the Union government had announced a similar interest-free festival advance to all its officers and employees as part of plans to increase consumer spending to spur demand in the economy.
The UP government followed suit and got the proposal approved from the cabinet.
In another decision, the government announced to give cash vouchers to the state employees this year in lieu of LTC fare which could be spent only on buying non-food GST-rated items.
The spokesman said that an employee could claim Rs 6,000 per person and for four persons but would have to buy items that attract 12 percent or more GST.
These purchases will have to be made in digital mode from GST-registered outlets.
As travel is difficult to undertake during the pandemic, the government will pay entitled fare as cash vouchers which have to be spent by March 31, 2021.
Besides, 50 percent of the proposed money will be paid in advance while the rest will be paid on return from the tour.
Government payout on cash-in-lieu-of-LTC will be Rs 960 crore.
The state government also announced MSP for paddy which will be Rs 1,850 per quintal and the purchase period will be between October 17 and January 15.