New bill mandates Punjab MLAs to declare property by Jan 1
AAP’s HS Phoolka said the government gave them no time to study the bills and move amendments. BJP’s Som Parkash sought clarity on January 1 deadline for making the declaration.Updated: Nov 28, 2017 22:01 IST
All MLAs in Punjab will have to declare their property details by January 1 every year under a new bill passed by the state assembly on Tuesday.
Keeping with its manifesto promise, the Captain Amarinder Singh government brought the Punjab Legislative Assembly (Salaries and Allowances of Members) Amendment Bill which was passed by the House. The amendment has added Section 3-AAA — declaration of immovable properties — to the Salaries Act of Punjab.
The bill was not debated much as opposition benches were empty. The Aam Aadmi Party MLAs had staged a walkout and SAD-BJP legislators were shouting slogans in the well of the House. But members of both AAP and BJP sought amendments to the bill.
In his notice of amendment, AAP MLA Kanwar Sandhu said all MLAs should also be asked to declare their business interests, including investments in publicly traded securities, of Rs 1 lakh and more. “It should also include businesses of their parents, spouses and children. And on becoming a minister, the MLA should put his/her shares in businesses/companies in a blind trust or sell them at arm’s length (not to family member or friend with whom he has a business dealing),” it read. He also demanded that an ethics ombudsman be appointed to oversee issues of ethics and conflict of interest of ministers and MLAs.
Speaking in the House, he also questioned the delay in bringing the conflict of interest legislation promised by the Congress in its poll manifesto. “Why the delay in bringing the bill? Many ministers and MLAs have stakes in liquor, sand mining, transport businesses,” he said. CM Amarinder had earlier said that MLAs would be kept out of the purview of the conflict of interest bill.
AAP’s HS Phoolka said the government gave them no time to study the bills and move amendments. BJP’s Som Parkash sought clarity on January 1 deadline for making the declaration.
First Published: Nov 28, 2017 19:17 IST