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ICAC Nets Rs 11.7 Million, Now Targeting Undeclared High-Officials’ Assets



ICAC Nets Rs 11.7 Million, Now Targeting Undeclared High-Officials' Assets

Year after year, politicians and high-ranking officials have been accused of delaying the submission of their asset declarations to the Commission against Corruption (ICAC). This has resulted in a significant financial windfall for the defunct institution.

According to ICAC’s records, 801 letters of warning were issued to MPs, district councillors, members of the Rodrigues Regional Assembly, prison guards, high-ranking officials, and officers of statutory bodies who failed to submit their asset declarations on time.

This represents a total amount of Rs 4,646,000 in penalties collected by ICAC from those who were unable to declare their assets on time.

Notably, these financial penalties have become a significant revenue stream for ICAC, with the institution collecting a total of Rs 11,675,500 in penalties since the introduction of the law in 2019.

The Commission against Corruption is authorized by the Asset Declaration Act, adopted by the National Assembly in 2019, to impose fines on individuals who fail to submit their declarations within the specified period without a reasonable excuse.

The law stipulates that anyone who fails to submit a declaration within the specified period shall be liable to pay a penalty of Rs 5,000 per month or part of the month.

As of now, ICAC has processed 5,822 declarations. It has also been observed that the number of asset declaration forms received has significantly increased over the past four years due to nominations and resignations, as well as elections and by-elections at the municipal and district levels.

This has contributed to an increase in the number of declarants.

It is expected that these numbers will continue to increase in the years to come, with proposed amendments to the Asset Declaration Act aimed at expanding the scope of the law.

Under Article 6(b) of the Asset Declaration Act, high-ranking officials assigned to different ministries must submit a new declaration of their assets and liabilities five years after submitting their initial declaration.

Furthermore, with the promulgation of the Financial Crime Commission Act, legislation regarding asset declaration is set to undergo changes.

The term “asset” has been expanded to include gold worth more than Rs 500,000, virtual assets, artworks valued at over Rs 500,000, and waqf properties dedicated under the Waqfs Act of 1941.

This recent legislative development in asset declaration means that declarants are required to submit a new declaration whenever they, their spouse, or minor children acquire or dispose of assets mentioned in Article 6(a) of the Asset Declaration Act.

Additionally, this development grants the Financial Crime Commission (FCC) the power to impose penalties for late submission of new declarations.

Source: Defi Media

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