Soon, babus may also work from home

  • Aloke Tikku, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Sep 22, 2014 00:12 IST

They are already spending longer hours at office but now government officials may soon end up working out of office too.

The Narendra Modi government this week lifted a decade-old restriction on the purchase of laptops, notepads and tablets iPads for central government officials. This comes in the backdrop of the government’s Digital India campaign and would ensure the babudom would soon be expected to work on the go.

In a fresh set of rules on Friday, the finance ministry has knocked out provisions that required the administrative secretaries — who head central departments — to justify purchase for each officer.

The earlier version had explicitly barred the purchase of laptops for officers as a matter of routine and required “adequate functional justification” for the purchases.

Deputy secretaries – the first decision-making level within the government – and above are entitled to get the gadgets that should cost no more than `70,000. The heads of departments will decide the device that each officer would be issued.

After using the device for four years, the officer would be permitted to buy it from the government by paying 10% of the original cost.

A government official acknowledged the gadgets riding on the back of wireless technology could radically change the work culture in the public sector.

But far from celebrating the relaxation, he worried that technology would blur the line between work and family time.

“It will also mean that we get lesser time for ourselves,” he said.

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