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Yearly Declarations, 'Reasonable' Exemption Limit: What the Parliamentary Report on Lokpal Says

The panel also said that the threshold value of assets, below which public servants need not file declarations, needs to be “reasonable” and be “revised on regular intervals”.

Marya Shakil, Uday Singh Ranamaryashakil

Updated:July 19, 2018, 3:15 PM IST
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Yearly Declarations, 'Reasonable' Exemption Limit: What the Parliamentary Report on Lokpal Says
File photo of Parliament.
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New Delhi: A Standing Committee of Parliament on Thursday tabled a report on the floor of the Rajya Sabha where it gave its recommendations regarding the draft Lokpal bill of 2018. Among other things, the Committee proposed yearly declaration of assets, in contrast to the earlier six-month periodic declarations, by public servants.

The panel also said that the threshold value of assets, below which public servants need not file declarations, needs to be “reasonable” and be “revised on regular intervals”.

“As per the revised draft, now a public servant has to make a declaration of his assets and liabilities within a period of six months from the date of becoming a public servant and for those who are already public servants have to file such declaration on or before July 31, 2018. Further, a public servant has to subsequently file revised declarations whenever there is any change in the details of declaration made earlier, within a period of six months from the date of such change. Thus, the earlier provision for periodically submitting the declaration has been done away with,” the report, detailing the procedure in the previous draft.

The committee said that such a declaration procedure “may create practical difficulties in submission of declarations. Especially for those elected public servants who may have alternative source of earning, other than their salary.

“In view of this, the committee recommends that the declarations should be filed periodically i.e. every year. This will allow a public servant to file a single return in a year which may include several transactions. This will make the process of submission of declarations easy, and will also save time and efforts of both, the public servant as well as of the Competent Authority. In case there is no change in the declared assets and liabilities of a public servant, he/she should not be required to file any return for that year and the earlier return filed would be reckoned,” it goes on to suggest.

Further, the report recommends making the declaration exemptions more “reasonable” for public servants.

“The committee wishes to add that the threshold value of assets below which the public servant need not to file return of such assets should be reasonable and should be revised on regular intervals,” it says.

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| Edited by: Huma Tabassum
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