In a move to introduce transparency norms for all NGOs that receive foreign funds, the government has proposed an amendment to the Lokpal law that will require NGO executives too to declare their assets at par with government officials.
The government has proposed to empower the Lokpal to frame “appropriate regulations” for furnishing assets and liabilities by employees of NGOs that receive foreign funding or associations that receive government funding. The Lokpal will also determine how these details would be made public.
The Lokpal law already treats employees of NGOs which receive foreign funding in excess of Rs 10 lakh as public servants.
This provision is part of the bill to amend the Lokpal and Lokyuktas Act introduced in the Lok Sabha on Thursday.
The bill also seeks to include Leader of Congress party in Lok Sabha in the selection committee for the Lokpal chairperson and members, give the eminent jurist — nominated to this selection panel a three year term and loosen the grip of the CBI Director over the Director of Prosecution who is a government appointee.
The amendment has not only proposed to dilute provisions relating to declaration of assets and liabilities of government officials but also expanded this transparency norm to cover NGO executives as well.
Under the existing provisions, only government officials were required to declare all their assets — movable and immovable — and the government was required to make them public.
The new provisions have diluted this requirement, ostensibly to bring Lokpal law in line with the existing service rules.
Cong moves privilege motion against Naidu
The Congress on Thursday moved a privilege motion against M Venkaiah Naidu, alleging he had “misled” Lok Sabha on the issue of celebrating former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s birthday on Christmas as ‘Good Governance Day’.
In his notice for the motion to Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan on Wednesday, Congress MP KC Venugopa said the HRD ministry, contrary to the government’s claim, had issued three circulars to CBSE and Navodaya schools and universities to celebrate the ‘Good Governance Day’ on December 25.
The ministry later clarified that participation was voluntary. The Congress asked the government to come clean on the issue.