Simpler form for babus to reveal assets on anvil

  • Aloke Tikku, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Dec 04, 2014 23:58 IST

The Centre will make it simpler for bureaucrats to declare their assets, but there is no running away from the transparency rule.

The government is finalising a new and simpler form that babus will have to fill declaring their assets and liabilities under last year’s Lokpal law.

The provision covers all central government employees, irrespective of their rank.

The new format — to be notified shortly — was devised on a panel’s report set up to look into representations against the rule that requires nearly 30 lakh employees to place their assets and liabilities in public domain.

Anxious that it wasn’t perceived as diluting the transparency norms, the department of personnel & training had earlier replicated the five-page form that aspiring MPs and MLAs have to fill before contesting elections.

But a string of representations and a high court case on the rule prompted a rethink.

At his meetings with bureaucrats, personnel minister Jitendra Singh brushed aside demands to keep their assets a secret, wondering why they were squeamish about the transparency norms followed by politicians.

Government sources told HT that it had been pointed out that the form is far too long to be filled by employees.

“Politicians have the resources to hire chartered accountants to fill the form,” an official said, adding that this complaint is being addressed.

Earlier this week, Singh told the Lok Sabha that a committee set up to review the format too had recommended simplifying the form.

Officials suggested that the 31 December deadline may be relaxed to enable employees to provide accurate information.

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