No ISD on home phone, global roaming on mobiles for babus under new norms

No ISD on home phone, global roaming on mobiles for babus under new norms

Fresh guidelines regulating telephone  use and reimbursement of expenses for bureaucrats deny even the top most bureaucrat international calling facility on landline phone at home as well as global roaming on mobile phone.

An official memorandum issued by the Finance Ministry said only office landline phones would have ISD facility. The government has also capped reimbursement of expenses incurred on land phone, mobile and broadband put together at Rs 4,200 a month for the top most bureaucrat.

According to the  new order, officers of the level of secretary and equivalent will be entitled to reimbursement of cost of one mobile handset priced not more than Rs 25,000, once during their tenure. However, global roaming facility will not be allowed on the mobile connection.

"There will be no separate ceiling for landline, mobile, broadband, mobile data, data card. The amount reimbursable will cover landline and/or mobile, data, data card...," the latest order of the Department of Expenditure said.

In case  a husband and wife are sharing a residential landline telephone and both are entitled to reimbursement, only one of them will be allowed reimbursement. In that case, the claim for mobile phone   charges will be treated separately for each of the officers, subject to the entitled ceiling.

Additionally, telephone expense reimbursement will not be given to officers on leave. In case an officer is on training for more than a month, reimbursement shall not be given.

Personal staff of ministers (private secretary, additional private secretary) will be entitled to one residential landline phone. Any excess expenditure up to 30% of the ceiling amount can be reimbursed to officers of the level of joint secretary and above, and private secretary and Officers on Special Duty (OSDs) to ministers, subject to their submitting a certificate saying it was for "official purpose and unavoidable", the order said.

A SIM card will be provided by the embassy to an official on overseas visit. If not provided, bureaucrats of the rank of additional secretary and above will be entitled to reimbursement of call charges of Rs 2,000 a day. Lower ranking officials will get Rs 1,000 a day. No mobile phone facility will be provided during training period abroad.

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