By Manali Joshi
On December 25, the Centre issued a fresh set of norms to govern the conduct of central public sector undertakings (PSU) employees. The new set of rules is believed to impact over 12 lakh employees working in public sector firms and bars them from political activities and criticising government policies or actions.
The rules were originally framed in 1974. All the amendments and additions get compiled from time to time in the Consolidated Model Conduct, Discipline and Appeal Rules.
According to the new set of rules, an employee of the state-owned firm is not allowed to be in an intoxicated condition in a public place. A public place is defined as any place to which public has access to, including a public conveyance. The new rules also prohibit an employee from participating or getting engaged in any such event which would be a reason for incitement of any criminal offence.
Controlling freedom of expression
He is not allowed to make any statement which would be in criticism of any public policy laid down by the Center or state. It should not put a taint in the federal system of working or affect the relationship between the Center and its officials. The rules clearly state that such a statement can include in its ambit any kind of online and offline publication as well. However, barring a citizen from expressing his views on the policy made by the government somewhere infringes his right to freedom of expression.
Further, a CPSE employee is barred from following and preaching about any political party. He is not allowed to support such a party in any public demonstration. He/she is also prohibited from standing in any kind of elections, be it at a local level or a legislature.
The rules also lay down that no CPSE employee or his relative be in a position to accept any kind of gift. The gift, herein, includes free conveyance, lodging, boarding and so on. If such an employee or his family member is seen receiving any said benefit, they shall be considered as using their power for illegal and irregular purposes.
However, the employee or his family members are allowed to accept gifts on occasions resembling his cultural practices like weddings, religious functions, which are prevailing since ages. In that case, if the employee receives any gift which is more than Rs. 25000, he has to report such intake to the competent authority. The norms also prohibit employees from participating or abetting in the giving or taking of dowry from the parents of the bride or bridegroom, directly or indirectly.
Moreover, an employee, as well as the directors of a public sector unit, are prohibited from dealing or participating either in their own or in the name of their family members during the public offering of shares. This is valid if they have access to unpublished information about the unpublished price fixed for the shares. Employees are also now required to disclose all the transactions of purchase and sale of shares for two months of pay or the same in the name of his or her family member within four days of working days.
Hence, the new set of rules makes it mandatory for an employee of the state-owned firms, to be an idealistic, honest person who follows work ethic. He/she should not support any rebellious or controversial political demonstrations and also establishes a good public behaviour.
At the outset, the changes brought into the rules provide a hope for an admirable behaviour from a citizen of India. However, the unimpaired implementation of the norms would bring the actual desired change.
Featured Image Source: Pixabay
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