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Lawmakers, govt staff have to declare assets

CM, ministers, legislators & MDCs brought under ambit of rules

SHILLONG: In a major decision, the State Cabinet on Tuesday approved the Meghalaya Public Servants’ Rules under which, the chief minister, cabinet ministers, MLAs and even MDCs along with other public servants would have to declare their assets.
The spouses and dependents of public servants will also come under the purview of the Act as they will also have to declare their assets.
Speaking to media persons after the cabinet meeting on Tuesday, Chief Minister Mukul Sangma said that with the approval of the Meghalaya Public Servants (Furnishing of information and annual return of Assets and Liabilities and the limits for exemption of assts in filing returns) Rules, 2016, every government servant is duty bound to declare their assets and investments made with any entity.
The chief minister said the rule was required to be approved for the implementation of the Lokayukta Act for which the State government has already received the assent of the Governor.
As per the rules, government employees now need to give details of the cash in hand, investment, insurance policies, personal loans, details of immovable properties, debts and liabilities of spouse and dependents.
According to the chief minister, the government has come up with the rules in compliance with the provisions of the Meghalaya Lokayukta Act, 2014 passed by the Meghalaya Assembly.
Section 45 of the Act states “A public servant shall, within a period of 30 days from the date on which he makes and subscribes an oath or affirmation to enter upon his office, furnish to the competent authority the information relating to – the assets of which he, his spouse and his dependent children, and liabilities.”
Under section 45, every public servant shall file with the competent authority, on or before July 31 of every year, an annual return of such assets and liabilities.
The Act also provides that the competent authority may condone or exempt the public servant from furnishing information in respect of assets not exceeding such minimum value.

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