Dear HR Colleagues

As HR I am required to set the policy on reimbursements for official travel (local and intercity) and the daily food allowances. We call this TA & DA in our company lingo, and currently this is set as a per diem rate.

Example: TA for Executives for Metro cities is Rs. 100/-; DA is Rs. 60/-.

This amount is given to the field employee for doing company work. We revise it once a year, but the petrol/ diesel rates increase multiple times during the year and the employees complain that the TA-DA is not adequate.

With the new budget released and an increase in petrol/ diesel rates projected in the coming financial year, what could be a better way of structuring the travel and food allowance rates? Should it be a fixed per day rate; should it be a per km rate; or should it be kept on fixed liters of petrol/ diesel? Or maybe there is another way...

The other issue is if it is on a per km or liters of petrol basis, how do I verify the authenticity of the claim and also control misuse?

I would appreciate inputs of how you do it in your organizations and any suggestions you have for me.



From India, Mumbai
Hi rose,

We have that problem before. We have vehicles for management and a service mini bus for the staff.

As time goes by, reimbursement are being abused. So we hire 1 car mechanic.

He's not only mechanic, but also records the kilometers, destination, Check in & out time, etc.

From the record alone, you can estimate mileage / gas consumption.

We gave memo's to those abuse individual in charge of his vehicle ( including managers, also our admin manager ).

Some managers complain to me why we hire someone to watched them.

I told them that they are not being watched, but rather we want them to be disciplined. And recording details about their travel is one SOP of any company.

We we're surprise in a month time, we save 50% of their travel expenses.

We did not only save from gas allowance but also from vehicle maintenance and repairs. Because we used to bring our vehicle to a car-shop for maintenance and repairs.

So its worth hiring a trusted mechanic who's loyalty is from the HR.

About food allowance. We do it in fixed rates.

Hope this will help Rose,


From Saudi Arabia, Al Khobar
Thank you for your inputs Jhun.
I like the idea of having a trusted mechanic to conduct and monitor vehicle repairs.
As an additional clarification, my company has field operatives pan India [about 15 cities incld Mumbai, Pune, Panaji, Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Cochin, Chennai, Delhi, Jaipur, Indore, Chandigarh, Lucknow, Kolkata, Guwahati]. Average number of operatives is around 2 per city with more in Mumbai, Bangalore & Delhi.
It would be difficult to arrange for a mechanic in each city and track the mileage on their vehicles' speedometer.
It is for this reason we had implemented a fixed per diem travel allowance, but with frequent increases in petrol rates, the employee complain that the TA is not enough.
Any other suggestions, please

From India, Mumbai
Hi again Rose,
Hmmm ???, by the way, your very much welcome.
In our case rose, if we have some technical problems or major worries concerning operation, we have a group to study them.
Believe it or not, our group consist of janitorial to managerial position. But they are the most creative.
And I'm a part to lead that group.
Major problems take us days or weeks to find the right solution.
But its worth it.
If you want, I can assemble a team for you and discuss it in a teleconference.
Make your decision and write me again.
Best Regards,

From Saudi Arabia, Al Khobar
Dear Jhun Good idea. Thanks again. Will consider making a study group to explore how we can develop an optimal travel reimbursement plan. regards Rose
From India, Mumbai

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