Centre allowed IAS & IPS officers to retain gifts from Foreign Dignitaries

The Central Government has amended a 50-year-old rule and allowed IAS, IPS and IFoS officers to retain gifts they receive from foreign dignitaries while being members of the Indian delegation.

Highlights

  • As per existing rules, these officers were allowed to accept gifts from their near relatives or from personal friends having no official dealings with them, on the occasions like weddings, funerals, anniversaries, and religious functions.
  • However, they are required to make a report to the government if the value of such gift is more than Rs 25,000.
  • Gifts comprises of free transport, free lodging, free boarding, or any other service or pecuniary advantage provided by a person other than near relative or personal friend having no official dealings.
  • It does not include any casual meal, casual lift or other social hospitality.

All India service (conduct) Rules, 1968

  • As per this rule, no member of the service can accept any gift without government’s sanctions if the value of those gift exceeds Rs 5,000.
  • This rule is applicable to officers of Indian Administrative Service (IAS), Indian Police Service (IPS) as well as Indian Forest Service (IFoS).
  • Member of the service must avoid accepting lavish hospitality or frequent hospitality from persons involved in official dealings or industrial & commercial firms or other organisations.

Amended rule

A new subsection has been added to Section 11 of the All-India Service (Conduct) Rules, 1968. According to it, a member of the service may receive and retain gifts from foreign dignitaries as per the provisions of the Foreign Contribution (Acceptance or Retention of Gifts or Presentations) Rules, 2012.

Background

Personnel Ministry had proposed this rule in March 2020 and had sought comments from state governments it. Currently, such gifts received from foreign dignitaries or from known or unknown sources are deposited with the ‘toshakhana’ in the Ministry of External Affairs.

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