File photo of Indian Finance Minister Arun Jaitley speaking at the NRI Foundation Awards in London. (Press Trust of India)
Amid a CBI probe into leakage of secret documents, Finance Ministry has clamped down on the use of Internet and private emails by those up to the director level in the Department of Economic Affairs (DEA), restricting the access only to official mails and government websites. A Press Trust of India report.
“The DEA officers of the level of directors and below will not have access of Internet on their office computers, except for government websites and email services managed by state-run National Informatics Centre (NIC),” a senior Finance Ministry official said.
They can also access government websites such as pib.nic.in, finmin.nic.in, which are managed by NIC.
Following the latest direction, only officers in the rank of joint secretary and above in the DEA will have access of Internet. However, there are no such restrictions in the Revenue and Expenditure Departments, among others.
The DEA is an important wing of the Finance Ministry which deals with policy matters including Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and capital markets.
The restrictions follow the CBI probe into the corporate espionage case, wherein it was found that the government staff members were leaking confidential information relating to foreign investment and other policy matters for further sale to the corporates.
The probe has indicated that “first and second” levels of decision making in the Ministries of Finance and Commerce relating to foreign investments were allegedly “compromised”.
One of the persons arrested by CBI in this case was handling key matters related to foreign investment policy and he was allegedly using two email accounts for sending information to a Mumbai-based Chartered Accountant.