The finance ministry’s expenditure department has issued new guidelines for central government employees regarding the provision of electronic devices. According to these guidelines, officers of the rank of deputy secretary and above are entitled to receive mobiles, laptops, tablets, and other similar gadgets worth up to Rs 1.3 lakh. Even section officers and under secretaries can be provided with such devices, but it is limited to 50 percent of the sanctioned strength.
The approved cost for these devices is set at Rs 1 lakh plus taxes, but if the device has a Make-in-India component of over 40 percent, the price limit is increased to Rs 1.30 lakh plus taxes.
The key update in the new memorandum, dated July 21, 2023, is that officers who are issued these devices are now allowed to keep them for personal use after four years of usage. However, if a device is already provided to an officer within a ministry/department, they cannot receive another one unless it is not economically viable to repair the existing one.
This new memorandum replaces the previous one from March 27, 2020, which did not allow for personal retention of gadgets and had a lower cost cap of Rs 80,000.