LUCKNOW: In a bid to plug the holes leading to alleys of corruption in government offices, the Yogi Adityanath dispensation has released a new circular forbidding officers and secretariat staff from accepting any gift on government premises without prior permission from senior authorities.
This is a fresh circular, issued by Additional Chief Secretary (Sachivalaya administration) Mahesh Gupta, which makes it clear that no person will be allowed to enter the Sachivalaya (state assembly secretariat) and other buildings housing government offices with gifts of any kind. Government employees will not accept any gifts without prior permission of higher authorities, the circular reads.
Officials said all the ministers in the state government have already been apprised of the circular and have been asked to ensure its execution in their respective offices.
With regard to gifts, the clerical grade staff feel it is an ‘unfair’ norm.
“Bureaucrats (IAS officers) receive gifts delivered to them at their doorsteps. But for us, if we accept even a box of sweets from a well-wisher in office during festivals, it will amount to punitive action. A vigil should be kept at officers’ residences too where they receive costly gifts,” said an upper division clerk seeking anonymity.
The state government issued such a circular after learning the lessons from the past. Over the years, gifts have been a perfect form of bribing government employees. New year calendars, dry fruits on Holi and silverware, decoration pieces, watches, crockery on Diwali are known to be distributed among government personnel by contractors and others to ensure a smooth passage to their files through various departments.
The diktat follows close on the heels of banning officers from taking mobile phones into meetings, asking officials to report on duty by 9 am and also prohibiting staff from chewing paan masala or paan on office premises. In fact, chewing tobacco, paan or paan masala were banned by the UP CM right after taking charge in 2017. A circular was issued cautioning those who used to spit on the premises leaving the walls and corners stained. It had its impact over the babus for some time. But now, as per the fresh norms, those found chewing gutka and paan will have to shell out Rs 500 as fine.
If any outsider is spotted chewing paan masala, he would have to pay Rs 500 as cleanliness fine and his secretariat card will also be cancelled.
Moreover, the entry of firearms will not be allowed in government offices anymore.
In fact, a number of MLAs and contractors used to throng premises housing government offices with their personal security guards carrying firearms. “It is usually an intimidating and scary sight for many. So this will not be possible anymore as sources claimed that security personnel would now be asked to deposit their firearms at the gate.