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The central government has announced the amended OM to provide electronic devices to its employees for official use. As per the latest office memorandum issued by the Expenditure Department of the Finance Ministry on July 21, 2023, eligible officers will now be entitled to receive mobiles, laptops, tablets, and other comparable gadgets worth up to Rs 1.3 lakh. What's more, these devices can be kept for personal use after four years of usage.
Under the newly released guidelines, all central government officers with the rank of deputy secretary and above will be eligible to receive these electronic devices. For Section Officers and Under Secretaries, 50 per cent of the sanctioned strength will be allowed to obtain such gadgets for official purposes.
The cost ceiling for these devices has been set at Rs 1 lakh plus taxes. However, in a bid to promote the "Make-in-India" initiative, the government will consider devices with more than 40 per cent domestically produced components, and for such devices, the price ceiling will be Rs 1.30 lakh plus taxes.
The memorandum makes it clear that no officer will be eligible for a new device if they have already been issued one in the past four years, except in cases where the device requires repairs that are declared as "beyond economical repairs." This provision aims to ensure optimal utilization of resources.
What sets this new policy apart from its predecessor, dated March 27, 2020, is the provision for officers to retain the devices for personal use after completing four years of official usage. The older memorandum had no such provision, and the cost of the gadgets was capped at Rs 80,000.
Additionally, the concerned Ministry/Department has been instructed to ensure that all data on the device is completely wiped out (data sanitized) before being handed over to the officer for personal retention. This measure ensures data security and privacy for both the employees and the government.
With this forward-thinking initiative, the central government aims to enhance the efficiency and productivity of its employees by providing them with modern tools to carry out their official duties seamlessly. Moreover, by allowing officers to retain these devices for personal use, the government demonstrates its commitment to the welfare of its workforce.
This move is expected to garner positive feedback from central government employees, who will now benefit from the convenience of using state-of-the-art electronic devices for both official and personal purposes. As the policy takes effect, officers across various departments will undoubtedly embrace the technology-driven work environment with open arms.