The federal cupboard has launched a recent coverage on presents given to authorities functionaries by international dignitaries, amongst which embrace a $300 ceiling on presents that may very well be retained, it emerged on Tuesday.
The brand new ‘Toshakhana Process for the Acceptance and Disposal of Presents, 2023’, dated March 8, features a recent set of tips for ministries and divisions to stick to.
The rules had been launched by the federal government alongside the Toshakhana records of 2002 onwards.
Established in 1974, the Toshakhana is a division underneath the executive management of the Cupboard Division and shops valuable presents given to rulers, parliamentarians, bureaucrats, and officers by heads of different governments and states and international dignitaries.
In line with Toshakhana guidelines, presents/presents and different such supplies obtained by individuals to whom these guidelines apply shall be reported to the Cupboard Division.
The division has been within the information in latest months in gentle of proceedings towards former prime minister Imran Khan for “not sharing particulars” of Toshakhana presents.
Essentially the most vital change within the guidelines, in keeping with the memo, includes presents that exceed $300, which immediately change into the state’s property to be disposed of in keeping with Toshakhana guidelines.
“Present(s) valuing upto USD 300 shall be allowed to be retained by the recipient after due funds as per its assessed market worth,” the memo stated. “The reward(s) exceeding this monetory (sic) restrict shall straightaway change into state/Toshakhana property to be deposited and disposed of in keeping with Toshakhana Process.”
The exception to antiques and presents of historic worth which might be to be displayed in authorities buildings.
The brand new coverage clearly states that each one presents, regardless of their worth, obtained by authorities functionaries have to be “reported” and “deposited” in Toshkhana inside “30 days of receipt of the presents” or “30 days from the date of return to Pakistan in case of international go to”.
It provides that “punitive motion” shall be taken towards the person recipient if they don’t report the receipt of presents and deposit the Toshakhana inside the time restrict.
The “chief of protocol”, who’s an officer of the international ministry, or his consultant hooked up to visiting dignitaries or delegations shall be accountable to provide the record of the presents obtained and the names of their recipients.
In circumstances the place the protocol chief and his consultant will not be related, the ministry sponsoring the occasion shall be chargeable for offering the small print.
“Within the case of outgoing delegations or visits overseas of our dignitaries, it shall be the accountability of the ambassador of Pakistan and or head of the Pakistan mission within the nation involved to report the receipt of the presents with the title of the recipients”.
Nonetheless, the brand new coverage has proven leniency towards presents of perishable gadgets that may be retained “with out reporting or depositing” them.
It has additionally prohibited any authorities functionary “besides these in BPS 1 to BPS 4” from receiving money awards as presents.
“Such presents could also be politely refused. In case, it turns into inconceivable to refuse with out inflicting offence to the visiting dignitary, the quantity shall be instantly deposited within the authorities treasury and a duplicate of the treasury challan shall be supplied to the Toshakhana Incharge, Cupboard Division.”
The brand new Toshakhana coverage has additionally prohibited authorities functionaries from receiving presents for his or her spouses or for members of their households. Nonetheless, if the reward can’t be declined attributable to any purpose, it have to be deposited with the Toshakhana instantly.
“Such presents obtained by the president/head of the federal government for his or her particular person or their members of the family shall be deposited in Toshakhana for dedication of assessed market worth, retention value, and additional disposal as per Toshakhana Process. These directions don’t apply to presents and donations made to establishments.”
It provides that consultants within the Federal Board of Income (FBR) and personal appraisers will assess the worth of the presents whereas an professional of Pakistan Ordnance Factories Wah will assess the worth of weapons obtained as presents.
“If the distinction within the worth of presents assessed by the 2 classes of appraisers is lower than 25 per cent, the upper worth shall be accepted. Nonetheless, if the distinction in worth is 25pc or extra, a committee to be constituted by the cupboard secretary shall resolve the ultimate worth.”
The analysis course of for assessing the worth of the presents shall be accomplished inside 30 days after declaration by the recipient.
Animals obtained as presents shall be transferred to the closest Remount Veterinary and Farms Corps for early sale or being handed over to the Zoological Backyard.
“Gold and Silver bullions shall be despatched to State Financial institution of Pakistan — Mint.”
In line with the brand new coverage, the auditor basic of Pakistan shall conduct an annual audit of Toshakhana. “The cupboard secretary, with approval of the prime minister, shall eliminate presents both via a show at outstanding authorities buildings, a donation to charities or public public sale, within the method defined on this coverage”.
Nonetheless, presents that can’t be retained, donated, or displayed shall be publicly auctioned a couple of times a 12 months. A committee shall be fashioned by the Cupboard Division for this objective. The record of presents that have to be auctioned shall be marketed within the newspapers and on the cupboard division’s web site.
“The cupboard secretary, with approval of the PM, shall donate proceeds of the public sale to Pakistan Baitul Maal and different reputed charitable organisations,” the brand new coverage stated. “Vintage gadgets and automobiles shall not be allowed to be bought by the recipients.”
Antiques shall be positioned within the museums or displayed in official authorities buildings whereas “automobiles shall be given to the Central Pool of Vehicles of the Cupboard Division.”
It’s pertinent to say that now the cupboard division shall replace the record of presents of Toshakhana on its web site each quarter.