Lok Sabha Ethics Panel seeks register of interest for MPs

Economic Times, December 19, 2012

The Ethics Committee of the Lok Sabha has recommended that members should declare their business interests by signing a ‘register of interest’ like the existing system in the Rajya Sabha.

A report submitted, after deliberations on the issue for over a year, said, “the committee, after elaborate discussion and taking into account views of the Chairman, Committee on Ethics, Rajya Sabha, as also distinct socio-political conditions prevailing in India, feel that the Rajya Sabha model of register of members’ interests as well as declaration of interests needs to be adopted by the Lok Sabha,” the report said. The basic purpose of the introduction of register of members’ interests is to infuse transparency and accountability among parliamentarians to reinforce confidence of public in their representatives. “The aim of registration of interests is openness, which is so vital for the functioning of a parliamentary democracy. The committee, therefore, feels, that in order to avoid a conflict of interest, provisions relating to registration of interests need to be incorporated in the Rules. Conflicts of interest may arise from financial interests as well as non-financial interests,” the report has said.

The committee has recommended that every member shall, within 90 days from the date on which he makes and subscribes an oath or affirmation for taking his seat, furnish information regarding his interests in a form prescribed for the purpose.

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