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Now, IAS, IPS, IFS officers will have to deposit gifts in museum Modi govt is setting up

Author: Sanya Dhingra
Publication: The Print
Date: August 6, 2019
URL:      https://theprint.in/india/now-ias-ips-ifs-officers-will-have-to-deposit-gifts-in-museum-modi-govt-is-setting-up/272741/

Just as PM & ministers’ gifts go into the ‘Toshakhana’, govt proposes a ‘gift museum’ for the ones IAS, IPS & IFS officers receive on official duty.

IAS and IPS officers, along with other civil servants, may no longer be able to take home the gifts they receive on official duty. ThePrint has learnt that the Narendra Modi government has decided that all the gifts they receive will have to be deposited in an ‘uphaar sangrahalaya’ or ‘gift museum’.

“As of now, all the gifts received by the PM and the ministers are deposited in the Toshakhana (which literally means treasure-house),” said a government official. “Now, the same would be done for IAS and IPS officers.”

The move would ensure that gifts received by government officers can be used for generating revenue, and not lead to “hoarding”, added the official who did not wish to be named.

Sources in the government said the guidelines for this have already been framed by the finance ministry, and will be notified soon.

Present and future

Civil servants are already supposed to take permission from the government before receiving gifts that cost more than Rs 5,000 as part of their official duties. In fact, they are supposed to declare gifts valued at more than Rs 25,000 even if they receive them outside of their duty, the official quoted above said.

In 2015, the Modi government had amended the All-India Services (Conduct) Rules to ensure that civil servants declare any gift more than Rs 5,000 — including free transportation, boarding and lodging — which they receive on duty. Earlier, the limit for declaration of gifts was Rs 1,000.

The guidelines now proposed by the finance ministry reiterate that officers should not receive any gifts for which the government has not given its sanction under the Civil Service (Conduct) Rules.

According to the proposed guidelines, a strongroom by the name of ‘uphaar sangrahalaya’ will be established in the office of the Controller General of Accounts, and the gifts would be deposited there. Not just civil servants, but also other officers working for the government would be required to deposit their gifts.
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