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Centre Notifies Rules for Govt. Staff under Lokpal Act
Jul 24, 2014

The Centre has notified new rules on declaration of assets and liabilities of its employees under the Lokpal Act. As per the new rules, government employees have to file returns with details of 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 employees also need to declare motor vehicles, aircraft, yachts or ships, gold and silver jewellery and bullion possessed by them, their spouses and dependent children. 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.

The rules however, provide for the competent authority to 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 2 lakh, whichever is higher.

Though the 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 then UPA government on some of the provisions were contested by the Bharatiya Janata Party. Other parties too 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.

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