Govt readies draft of Conflict of Interest Act

CHANDIGARH: Close on the heels of the exit of Power and Irrigation Minister Rana Gurjit Singh over the sand mining auction row, the Congress government has revived its efforts to enact the Conflict of Interest Act.

Rajmeet Singh

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 4

Close on the heels of the exit of Power and Irrigation Minister Rana Gurjit Singh over the sand mining auction row, the Congress government has revived its efforts to enact the Conflict of Interest Act.

The government is reportedly wary of any fresh controversy following the Rana episode and the irrigation scam, which is currently being investigated by the Vigilance Bureau.

Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh is learnt to have been briefed about the alleged conflicting interests of legislators and political appointees by the police intelligence wing.

The Congress had, in its first Cabinet meeting, decided to bring the legislation on conflict of interest last year.

The Parliamentary Affairs Department has come up with an amended draft of the proposed legislation, which was recently reviewed in a meeting chaired by Chief Secretary Karan Avtar Singh.

In the proposed draft, ministers, bureaucrats and government officials may be required to furnish a public disclosure statement on their personal or family’s stakes in private businesses/corporations, financial assistance received by them or their families and the positions held by their family members in various organisations.

The Chief Minister, ministers and MLAs are also likely to be covered under the proposed legislation.

Capt Amarinder Singh, while speaking at public forums, has already hinted at bringing in the legislation that would cover the Chief Minister and ministers, as was promised by the Congress during the state Assembly elections early last year.

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