Lokpal law delayed: Babus get another extension till October 15 to file their asset detailsBy Aman Sharma, ET Bureau | 25 Apr, 2015, 09.53PM IST NEW DELHI: Government officials have got yet another extension in the deadline, this time for nearly six more months, to fill up their annual property returns for the yet-to-be operationalised Lokpal law, which is also bound to delay the legislation.
Ahead of the deadline ending on April 30 and a mad rush among officials to fill up their asset returns online which has even slowed down the NIC server, the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) in a order issued on Saturday said the deadline has now been extended to October 15, 2015. This is the third extension given to officials to file the asset returns as per the Lokpal Act -- they were originally supposed t
o file the same by September 15, 2014 after the Lokpal rules were notified in last July. This means there will now be a delay of 13 months in the asset returns to reach the government -- the Lokpal law though enacted in January 2014 has also not been operationalised as amendments to the bill are pending before a standing committee. "Expect the Lokpal Act Amendment bill only in the next parliament session," a DoPT official told ET.
All central government staff, as per the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act passed in January 2014 and consequent rules notified on July 14, 2014 have to declare their assets and liabilities, both movable and immovable, as well as those of their spouses and dependents. Ahead of the original September 15, 2014 deadline to do so bureaucrats had complained of the complex forms specified for the purpose and said their privacy could be hampered if all intricate details of their assets are put out in the public domain. This led to the government first extending the deadline for filing asset returns from September 15, 2014 to December 31, 2014 and setting up a committee to re-work the forms to make them simpler. On December 28, 2014, the new forms were notified and bureaucrats given another extension till April 30, 2015 to file their details.
These new forms specified that every government servant will also have to give details of "Furniture, fittings, antiques, paintings, electronic items" and any other movable asset owned by him or his immediate family member whose current value exceeds his two months basic salary or Rs 1 Lakh. It was also specified in the new forms that details of deposits in foreign banks by the government servant or any of his immediate family members is to be provided "separately" besides local deposits. The revised forms, though simplified, however did not give any concession to the government officials who will still have to declare each and every asset owned by them, their spouse and dependent children to the government.
There has been a huge rush among bureaucrats to file the asset returns this month ahead of the April 30 deadline. The government even advised Babus earlier this week to file details of their assets and liabilities after office hours and on holidays as many have complained of slow speed of an online system meant for filing these declarations, making the DoPT take up the issue of slow speed of system with National Informatics Centre (NIC) authorities for upgradation of the server.
All Group A, B, and C employees are supposed to file a declaration under the new rules
Courtesy:The Economic Times
Courtesy:The Economic Times