Govt Asks Civil Service Officers To Declare Assets By Jan 31

Govt Asks Civil Service Officers To Declare Assets By Jan 31

12 January 2012
Rising Kashmir
Abid Bashir

Srinagar: In a major step forward in the fight against corruption, government Thursday directed all in-service Indian Administrative Service (IAS), Kashmir Administrative Service (KAS) and state cadre Indian Police Service (IPS) officers to declare their assets and of their family members by January 31. “Under Jammu and Kashmir Public Men and Public Servants Declaration of Assets and other Provisions Act, 1983, every public servant shall submit to the prescribed authority annual returns of the assets held by him and his family members,” reads the government order no GAD (Vig) OI- APRs l KAS 12012 dated 11-01-2012. The KAS officers have been directed to submit their return in print form so that the same could be uploaded on the GAD website. “The details of all assets held by the officer and his family members exceeding the cost of Rs 20,000 should be submitted to the vigilance wing of GAD,” the order reads. Commissioner Secretary GAD, Muhammad Sayeed Khan said the provision of declaration of assets by the State cadre officers is already in the Right to Information Act. “We thought to make things easier by putting the details on the website. We already have details of assets of KAS officers,” he said. He said the government has sought details about assets from IAS and IFS officers as well. “This will be for the first time that we will merge the details of assets of KAS, IAS, IPS, IFS officers and publish the same on the officials’ site,” he said. The officials have been directed to submit their annual returns by January 31. However, official sources said despite repeated reminders, no officer was willing to submit details of their assets. “This forced the government to come up with a full-fledged order to build pressure on the officers of all ranks,” they said. Sources said the move will tighten the noose around officers and expose their indirect ways of procuring assets. They said the order has not gone down well with the bureaucrats as it has left most of them fuming. “It will really be a test for government whether it could come up with the exact details of the property owned by the officers and their family members,” they said. A senior official, wishing not to be quoted, said the move will ensure accountability and transparency in the system. “It will ultimately streamline the entire system.” An IAS officer, wishing not to be named, said the step is a welcome one. “The government has taken a step towards right direction. Seeking the details of not just the officials but also of their family members will expose the way officials have used their position to procure assets,” he said adding there was a need to implement the order in letter and spirit. A KAS officer, pleading anonymity, said, government should apply the same rule from top to bottom. “Why only KAS and IAS officers? Rules have to be for all. Corruption is not prevalent only in the top ranks but in the lower ranks as well. The recent scandal unearthed in the Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC) should be an eye-opener as peon had millions in his account,” he said. He further said since the list of returns is supposed to be submitted to the vigilance wing of the GAD, there should be thorough scrutiny of the list provided by the officers. “Only publishing the list provided by the officers doesn’t make a sense,” he said.