LTC Amendment and its impact on J&K and Northeast economies

Indian Income Tax Act gives a 2-year LTA (Leave Travel Allowance) window in a block of four years for availing the (LTA) concession. If this provision is broadened with addition of some control clauses, it has the potential to divert a huge traffic of tourism to Jammu and Kashmir and Northeast regions in India and also contribute to their economic development.

In relation to JKL/NE, LTC with effect from February 1, 2021 says LTA will be availed for all 4 years, if an assessee has 10 years of service left or 10 years left to attain the age of 60 as a professional, he can get in one block of four years of his choice to make a minimum of three trips to JKL/NE in a block of four years within 10 years and avail the LTC deduction for all four years. In such case, usual deduction can be availed. 

For professionals the same rules will apply. The travel concession with overall cap of 15% of base salary+ HRA of any individual as maximum deduction under LTA under the specified scheme will be provided. JKL and Northeast will be referred to as specified regions under this deduction. For other regions of the country, current rules will apply but to qualify for the block, the assessee must travel at least three out of four years in that block to specified regions. The impact of the expense by the people who travelled to these regions, enables the economies of these regions in India can flourish naturally and help government efforts to integrate as well as bring smiles and prosperity to these regions.

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