Parl panel recommends LS members declare business interests
New Delhi: In an effort to enhance "openness" and maintain propriety, a Parliamentary panel on Tuesday recommended that Lok Sabha members declare their business interests by signing a 'register of interest'.
The move would help avoid a "conflict of interest", the Ethics Committee of the Lok Sabha said in its report on 'Introduction of a Register of Members Interest in Lok Sabha'.
The register of interest is based on similar records maintained by the Rajya Sabha.
While in Rajya Sabha it is mandatory to sign the register, there is no such compulsion for members of the lower house.
"The aim of registration of interests is openness, which is so vital for the functioning of a Parliamentary democracy... In order to avoid a conflict of interest, the provisions relating to registration of interests need to be incorporated in the rules," the report said.
It said the conflicts of interest may arise from financial as well as non-financial interests.
The panel said that whenever a member has personal or specific pecuniary interest in an issue being considered by Lok Sabha or a Parliamentary Committee, he should declare that interest notwithstanding any registration of his interests in the register.
A member who happens to be a professional like a doctor or a lawyer should register details of paid consultancy and professional engagements only in cases where the paid consultancy has a "nature of permanency", the report read. It said the minimum period of engagement in such cases should not be less than one year.
It said the information of interests in register "may be given to the general public" as per the rules and procedures determined by the panel.
The Committee had been debating the issue since October, 2011.