IAS officers of 2017 batch in Parliament (representational image) | Photo: Praveen Jain | ThePrint
IAS officers of 2017 batch in Parliament (representational image) | Photo: Praveen Jain | ThePrint
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New Delhi: The Narendra Modi government has moved a proposal to plug a loophole in the existing service rules for IAS, IPS and Indian Foreign Service officers, by allowing them to accept gifts from foreign dignitaries while on official duty.

In its letter to the chief secretaries of all states, dated 3 March, the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) pointed out that “…there are no provisions under AIS (Conduct) Rules, 1968, with regard to receipt/retention of gifts from foreign dignitaries by members of AIS (All India Services) being a member of foreign delegation or otherwise”.

The letter, accessed by ThePrint, added that the DoPT has decided “with the approval of competent authority to insert a new sub-rule (4) under Rule 11 of AIS (Conduct) Rules, 1968”.

The government has sent the draft proposal for feedback to all states, and said if they do not issue any reply by the end of this month, it would be assumed that they have no objection to the proposal.


Also read: 50% drop in IAS, IPS officers promoted in central govt in 2018, and no one can explain why


What the existing rule states

Rule 11 of the All India Service (Conduct) Rules states that a member of the IAS, IPS or IFS cannot accept a gift with a monetary value of more than Rs 25,000 from friends or relatives on weddings, anniversaries, funerals or religious occasions without reporting this receipt to the government.

The rule also states that no officer would be allowed to receive a gift worth more than Rs 5,000 regardless of the occasion without informing the government.

“Member of the service shall avoid accepting lavish hospitality or frequent hospitality from persons having official dealings with them or from industrial or commercial firms or other organisations,” it further says.

The proposed amendment

According to the proposed amendment, notwithstanding anything already mentioned in the rule, “A member of service, being a member of the Indian delegation or otherwise, may receive and retain gifts from foreign dignitaries in accordance with the provisions of The Foreign Contribution (Acceptance or Retention of Gifts or Presentation) Rules, 2012, as amended from time to time.”

This will allow the same value limits to apply to gifts from foreign dignitaries.

An official in the government said gifts from foreign dignitaries were “an obvious loophole” that could be exploited by officers to receive gifts crossing the prescribed limits.

“By bringing in foreign dignitaries explicitly to the rules, the government is trying to ensure there is no scope for kickbacks or corruption in the form of gifts,” an official, who did not wish to be named, told ThePrint. “The move is in line with the government’s commitment to curbing corruption.”

Last year, ThePrint reported that the government was planning to amend the rules to ensure that civil servants, like ministers, deposit the gifts received by them in their official capacity in an ‘uphaar sangrahalaya’ (gift museum).

Sources in the DoPT said while the guidelines to this effect have been framed already, the notification may be issued sometime this year.


Also read: IAS officers say no recourse left against ‘arbitrary’ appraisal system after HC upholds it


 

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15 Comments Share Your Views

15 COMMENTS

  1. Gifts from relatives must be allowed without any limit as in marriage ceremony we do give expensive gifts , I have himself gifted my aunty 20k ear rings of gold. What’s wrong if it’s etc gets gift from own relations or close friends, they also have to give similar gifts to relatives or close friends until unless any insider trading is not mooted out.

  2. If we write IFS, Its Foreign Service Only. If its IFoS, its forest service. One can see UPSC Notification No 06/2020. Of course forest is All India Service. Foreign is central service

    • IFS in India means only Indian Forest Service, which is also a All India Service. The forest service is older than foreign service.

  3. Modi with corruption, actually bureaucrats belongs to second rung of most corrupt list so both of them trying to please each others that’s all.

  4. The rules are ill-founded. Who gives a gift of Rs 25, 000/-? Do one’s own relative give? What a joke of honesty and integrity in public service. There must be Zero gift for anyone in govt. service. Tha maximum thay one may take is a diary or a calendar or any item, not of gold or precious stones, worth more than Rs 500/-. As is is, our govt. Is rated as one of the most corrupt nations in the world by Transparency International. Let us not create more looholes to encourage corruption.

  5. It’s okay to accept for having a good relationship but need to deposit all gifts to home ministry. It will be no trouble for us

    • @ notia Here All India Service Rules are changed hence IFS stands for Indian Forest Service, Indian Foreign Service is not an all India service. Please correct your mistake

  6. Civil servants no contribution to society at large, but our stupid politicians are making them sit on common man’s head.

  7. IFS here stands for Indian Forest Service which is an All India Service. Indian Foreign Service is a Central Civil Service. Please make suitable change in the article.

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