Central govt employees will have to declare family assets.
The Public Servants (Furnishing of Information and Annual Return of Assets and Liabilities and the Limited for Exemption of Assets in Filing Returns) Rules, 2014 make it mandatory for central government employees to file a statement listing their and their spouse/dependents’ cash in hand; bank deposits; investments in bonds, debentures, shares and units in companies and mutual funds; long-term savings; insurance policies; provident fund; loans and advances; cars/aircraft/yacht/ships; and jewellery.
The declaration must record value of these items as on March 31 and filed with the competent authority by July 31 of that year.
For the current year, the public servants who have filed such returns of property under various service rules, will have to file revised declarations of assets and liabilities as on August 1, in the prescribed format, by September 15.
The competent authority may, however, exempt the public servant from filing information in respect of any asset if its value does not exceed his/her fourth months’ basic pay or Rs 2 lakh, whichever is higher. The reasons for the exemption may be recorded in writing.
The new rules were notified by department of personnel and training (DoPT) under last week under the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act, 2013. These empower the Centre to prescribe a form for annual returns to be filed by a public servant.
The government is in process of modifying other Lokpal Act rules, including those related to search committee’s powers and functions. The new rules seek to empower the search committee to recommend candidates other than those shortlisted by DoPT to the Lokpal selection committee, for selection as Lokpal chairman and members.
Sources in the ministry of personnel indicated that the Lokpal selection process may get going sometime next month.