New Delhi: 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.
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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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I read the comments on the story with a bemused feeling. In this context, I cannot resist recalling the memories of my stint as Director (Finance) in an important economic ministry in the 80s. I was told by the insiders in the ministry that, every IAS officer after return from frequent foreign trips would very meticulously list out the tiny and insignificant items (like ties, cuff links, pens, etc.) received from the host countries and offer to return the same to the govt as per the extant rules. Eyewitnesses (i.e., those from the protocol in the ministry present in the airport to see off and receive the officers), however, used to tell me that the heavier items were never listed or returned. They also used to tell me that, the number of suitcases would invariably double or treble on arrival back in India!
So much for compliance with the rules and orders!
Hats of to our PM for starting museum for gifts received by IAS, IPS etc Officers.Trust he will similarly ask every beuraucat and politicians to follow the same.Cleansing of our public administration is very critical for our country country’s healthy and sustainable growth.
The same should apply to elected members of gram panchayats, municipal corporations, municipal corporation officers, collectors, Revenue and land record officials, MLA’s, MP’s, Ministers,Bank managers and their officials. They should even declare the amount spent for their felicitation and public programmes which the inaugurate. All monetary gifts should also be declared.
It is a very good move, Govt. will generate enormous revenue if single malt premium scotch whiskey and also choicest wines are deposited in the treasury, they can be auctioned after 12 yrs of ageing, provided that ‘rats’ in the tosh khana do not sip them out.
It was always so for the Defence Officers and Regulation of Army(DSR) makes mention of it and it permitted the officers to be able to retain gift valued up to Rs 500/-; these were the figures 25 years back. The officers were also required to inform the Army HQ of the gift and seek its permission to retain it; otherwise, it needed to go to TOSHAKHANA.
I don’t recall the Rule No now that I left Armed Forces 23 yrs back.
I recall, while I was in Bhutan in early 1980, one of my senior colleagues while moving out on posting received a gift of 12″ Colour-TV from the Royal family. (The Colour TVs had still not come in India then) and he was advised by his superiors to retain it but because it valued more than Rs 500/- he informed the Higher HQs giving its approx value but the wheels of bureaucracy grind very slowly while he left the gift with the unit he was in before his posting and had to be sent on receiving the permission to retain it.
One doesn’t receive gifts at most of the places and all the levels also don’t; people do receive the gifts in foreign missions.
I accept that the practice of reporting and sending it to TOSHAKHANA was followed more in the breach than Observance.
Nice step taken by the Modi Govt. I hope, it is to be better, if the event mention in respect of the gift which received by an officer.
The gifts I received officially have kept in the office only. Now I am retired. The gifts are in office only.
This must be extended to MLAs, MPs, Ministers of central and State governments besides the elected members of the local bodies including Panchayat, Muncipal councils and Corporations
I only feel as putting gifts in a Government Gifts Museum is a natio al pride. As it gives pride to the person who is keeping the gifts in this Museum, he should have his free options.
Now what’s the perk of being a civil servants. Gifts are supposed to be exclusive.
It only talks about gifts not other forms they receive. They only need to change the discription of the item received.
So if officials recieve Mangoes, they will also be showcased in Museum. Won’t it be perished.
This is sounding like Akbar and Birbals story, where the guard asked him to share with him the gift he receives. Birbals smartly chose Gift of Beatings which was shared with the Guard 😂
Nobody, especially IAS babus will not do it. They will find some way out and avoid depositing it. As the indian rules are not applicable to IAS, perhaps they may go unpunished also and they will get their promotions and extensions also.
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