The spectre of their salary being withheld looming large, Bihar government employees are in a scramble to declare their assets before February 28. With only one working day remaining between the weekend and Monday’s deadline, an estimated 90 per cent of the total five lakh employees have submitted their details to their respective departments.
The General Administration Department, which had issued the order, stresses this is an estimate based on “rough calculations with data from various departments”.
The breakup from various departments is not yet in but the GAD notes that the response has been strong. The prospect of going without salary comes at a time when the common man is already struggling in the Income Tax-deduction season.
“Policemen have been declaring their assets with the Home Department. Forty departments have been getting declarations from their own employees. Each department will upload its asset declarations on its website, with a link to the Bihar government site,” said GAD principal secretary Deepak Kumar.
Asked about reservations among some IAS and IPS officers who fell they are not bound to follow the state government circular, the GAD principal secretary said: “IAS and IPS officers are guided by All India Services Rules. They will have to abide by the state government’s executive order. Now that the Chief Minister and ministers have declared their assets, no exception can be made for bureaucrats who are getting paid by the state government”.
Kumar said some officers might have been against declaration of assets for fear of becoming the target of kidnappers, “but that cannot be counted as a valid excuse” not to make the declaration.