Chief secy calls meeting to mull action against officers holding green cards
The Punjab chief secretary has called for a meeting of all principal secretaries of the government to deliberate on what action is to be taken against the officers found to be permanent residents and green-card holders of foreign countries. The meeting will take place on June 3.
An interim report of the vigilance bureau has found as many as 130 gazetted and non-gazetted officers of the Punjab government to be permanent residents and green-card holders of foreign countries. The list includes an IAS officer and two PCS officers among a host of senior officers. The report was submitted to the government on May 15.
While recommending strict action against these officers, the vigilance report had noted that the Punjab government service rules were silent on the issue. It is not clear if an employee who attains the PR or green card of another country while in service of the government is violating any service rules.
Following requests from officers who wanted PR abroad in 2006, the union department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) had clarified that a government officer could not seek immigration till he was in service.
The DoPT, in its instructions to the chief secretaries of all states, had added that “the question of issuing an NOC to a government employee who wishes to migrate abroad does not arise”.
The VB, as a result, had recommended to the government to bring clarity on the issue and amend the service rules to disallow government employees to hold residency of another country. The need for amending service rules will also be discussed at a meeting chaired by the chief secretary.
UNDER THE SCANNER
The government is also looking at the possibility of some of these officers “misusing” their PR to hold NRI accounts and transferring money.
These officers had not revealed their NRI accounts in banks even to the income tax authorities, sources said. A preliminary scan of the 130 officers had revealed only a handful of such cases which were being followed up by the VB.
5-YR-LEAVE STARTED IT
The Punjab government in 2002 had allowed all its employees with eight years of service to take a fiveyear leave for self-employment or start a business.
They were not to be paid any salary but were allowed to retain their seniority. Taking advantage of this leave period, many employees chose to go abroad and settled there. While many of these employees never returned others came back after having become residents and resumed their service.
GOVT SEEKS DETAILS
The government on Friday sought details of employees in various departments, who were on a five-year special leave under the self-employment scheme.
All departments have been directed to immediately supply the information in the required pro forma so that it could be consolidated for necessary action.
A spokesman of the personnel department said all departments that had not submitted the information about the employees enjo ing five-year special leave should submit consolidated report with immediate effect.