Property returns to be accepted Online between Jan 1-31 only
Assets having value beyond 2 months’ salary to be revealed
JAMMU, Jan 12: In order to make all the employees accountable and to check corrupt practices, the Government has carried out amendments in the Jammu and Kashmir Public Servants Declaration of Assets and Other Provisions Rules, 1998. With this, each employee will have to reveal the information about all those assets the value of which exceeds two months basic salary.
Earlier, as per Rule 3 of the J&K Public Servants Declaration of Assets and Other Provisions Rules, 1998, which deals with declaration of assets and submission of annual returns by public servants, every public servant was required to submit annual return in duplicate to the prescribed authority in the prescribed form in respect of all the assets possessed by him and his family members which shall include the assets in respect of movable property the value of which exceeds Rs 20,000 in each case.
However, there was no compliance of these Rules by large section of the Government employees and this was exclusively highlighted by EXCELSIOR a number of times.
Even the Jammu and Kashmir Anti-Corruption Bureau brought to the notice of General Administration Department that majority of the Government employees were not submitting annual property returns as a result of which the Bureau was facing difficulty in identifying the officers and officials who have amassed assets disproportionate to their known source of income.
As majority of the employees were taking the excuse of cumbersome system of filing property returns manually, the General Administration Department, Information Technology Department and Anti-Corruption Bureau developed a portal for online submission of property statements and the same was launched in the month of December 2021.
Now, in exercise of the powers conferred by Section 16 of the J&K Public Men and Public Servants Declaration of Assets and Other Provisions Act, 1983, the Government has made amendments in the Rules of 1998.
With this each Government employee is required to submit annual return through online mode using the portal for the calendar year between January 1 and January 31 of the next calendar year in respect of all the assets possessed by him and his family members which shall include the assets in respect of moveable property, the value of which exceeds his two months basic salary in each case giving full particulars of cash balance, saving bank deposits, shares, cash certificates, fixed deposits, debentures and security bond; jewellery/ornaments and household items (electric and electronic).
Further, the Government has substituted Rule 4 which deals with restriction to acquire and transfer of movable property. “Every public servant shall bring to the notice of the prescribed authority the acquisition or transfer of movable property where the value of such property exceeds his two months basic salary in each case”, said new Rule 4.
“The portal for submission of property statement online will be open only during the period between January 1 and January 31 and thereafter the same will not be accepted and necessary action will be initiated against the erring employees”, sources said.
On the receipt, the competent authority shall satisfy itself about the genuineness of the returns and in case the prescribed authority has reasons to believe that any item of property shown in the return is doubtful or disproportionate to the known sources of income of a public servant, it shall by a notice afford a reasonable opportunity to him in the matter.
The public servant shall explain his position to the prescribed authority within a period of 21 days from the date of receipt of notice and in case the prescribed authority is not satisfied with the explanation tendered by the public servant, it shall refer the matter to the Anti-Corruption Bureau for enquiry and the Bureau after conducting an enquiry into the matter shall submit its report to the prescribed authority for necessary action.