Central government officials to declare assets under new Lokpal rules
The Union government has notified rules on declaration of assets and liabilities of its employees under the Lokpal Act.
Though system of declaration of assets and liabilities has been in vogue, the Lokpal Act seeks to systematise it with additional information.
While the Lokpal Act became operational in 2013, rules framed by the UPA government on some of the provisions were contested by the BJP.
Among others, the BJP had taken serious exception to the rules on Search Committee for selection of Lokpal on the ground that they do not conform to the letter and spirit of the Act. The NDA government is currently in the process of re-framing the rules.
As per the new rules notified by the government, its employees have to file returns with details on cash in hand, bank deposits, investment in bonds, debentures, shares and units in companies or mutual funds, insurance policies, provident fund, personal loans and advance given to a person or any entity, among others.
The returns should give information about spouses as well. The employees’ need to declare motor vehicles, aircraft, yachts or ships, gold and silver jewellery and bullion possessed by them, their spouses and dependent children, according to the form.
The employees also to have to give details of their immovable properties along with statement of debts and other liabilities on first appointment or as on March 31 of every financial year.
However, the competent authority may exempt a public servant from filing the information in respect of any asset if its value does not exceed his or her four months basic pay or Rs. two lakh, whichever is higher.
Source: The Hindu