IAS and IPS officers will now need to take prior permission from the Union government before accepting gifts, including free transportation, boarding and lodging, worth more than Rs 5,000.
According to the recently amended all-India services rules, they also need to inform the government if they accept gifts of over Rs 25,000 from their relatives or friends. No member of the service shall accept any gift without the sanction of the government if the value of the same exceeds Rs 5,000, the new rules say.
They may accept gifts from near relatives or personal friends with whom they have no official dealings on occasions such as weddings, anniversaries, funerals and religious functions when the making of gifts is in conformity with the prevailing religious and social practice but they have to make a report to the government if the value of such a gift exceeds Rs 25,000, the rules state. Free transportation, free boarding and lodging and any other service or pecuniary advantage when provided by a person other than a near relative or personal friend having no official dealing with the member of the service will be construed as a gift, as per the definition in the existing rules.
However, the rules state that gifts does not include casual meals, casual lift or other social hospitality. Officers shall avoid accepting lavish hospitality or frequent hospitality from persons having official dealings with them or from commercial firms or other organisations, the rules say.
The Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) has notified the All-India Services (Conduct) Amendment Rules, 2015. Earlier, IAS, IPS and IFoS officers were needed to take prior government sanction before accepting gifts if their value exceeded Rs 1,000, he said.
"(Also), they were to inform government after receiving gifts from near relatives, friends, or on occasions such as wedding, anniversaries, funerals and religious functions if their value exceeded Rs 5,000," the official added.
Indian Administrative Service (IAS), Indian Police Service (IPS) and Indian Forest Service (IFoS) are the three all-India services.
"The rules have been amended and the ministries concerned have been told to bring them to the notice of all IAS, IPS and IFoS officers," a DoPT official said. The monetary limits have been revised through the new rules.
There are about 4,802 IAS, 3,798 IPS and 2,668 IFoS officers serving in the country.