The Centre has issued a fresh set of norms to govern the conduct of central PSU employees, which bars them from political activities and criticising government policies or actions. The rules will impact over 12 lakh employees working in state-owned firms. The 'Consolidated Model Conduct, Discipline and Appeal Rules for CPSEs' also prescribes that employees must not accept any gifts refrain from consuming any intoxicating drink or drug in a public place, not appear in a public place in a state of intoxication, or use any intoxicating drink or drug to excess. "For the purposes of this rule, 'public place' means any place or premises (including a conveyance) to which the public have, or are permitted to have, access, whether on payment or otherwise," the Department of Public Enterprises said. According to the norms, no employee will make any statement, which has the effect of adverse criticism of any policy or action of the Centre or state governments, or of the CPSE, or which is capable of embarrassing the relations between the central public sector enterprise (CPSE) and the public. This includes any document published under his/her name or in the name of any other person or in any communication to the press, electronic and print media or in public utterances. According to the new rules, no employee of the CPSE "shall engage oneself or participate in any demonstration, which involves incitement to an offence". A CPSE employee cannot become an office-bearer of a political party or an organisation which takes part in politics, or take part in or assist in any manner in any movement/agitation or demonstration of a political nature, according to the new norms. Employees are also barred from taking part in an election to any legislature or local authority, and from canvassing in any election to any legislature or local authority. The rules also lay down that no CPSE employee shall accept or permit any member of his/her family or any other person acting on his/her behalf, to accept any gift. The "gift" includes free transport, board, lodging or other service or any other pecuniary advantage when provided by any person other than a near relative or a personal friend having no official dealings with the employee, the department said. However, on occasions such as weddings, anniversaries, funerals or religious functions, when the making of gifts is in conformity with the prevailing religious or social practices, an employee of the CPSE may accept gifts, from his/her near relatives but employee shall make a report to the competent authority if the value of the gift exceeds Rs 25,000 in the case of an executive; or Rs 15,000 for a non-executive. The norms also prohibit CPSE employees from giving or taking or abetting the giving or taking of dowry; or demand, directly or indirectly, from the parents or guardian of a bride or bridegroom, as the case may be, any dowry. An employee must maintain high ethical standards and honesty, maintain political neutrality, maintain courtesy and good behaviour with the public, and must not adopt dilatory tactics or wilfully cause delays in disposal of the work assigned to him/her, according to the rules. Moreover, "no employee shall use his/her position or influence directly or indirectly to secure employment for any person related, whether by blood or marriage to the employee or to the employee's wife or husband, whether such a person is dependent on the employee or not," the department said. The rules were originally framed in 1974.
All the amendments and additions issued from time to time have now been compiled into the Consolidated Model Conduct, Discipline and Appeal Rules. As per the new norms, full-time Directors and employees engaged in fixing the price of an initial or follow-on public offer of a CPSE and their family members have been barred from apply in these public offers. Moreover, employees including full time Directors who are in possession of unpublished price sensitive information will be prohibited from dealing or transacting either in their own name or through any member of their family in the shares of their own CPSE. Employees will also be required to disclose to the CPSE all transactions of purchase/sale in shares worth two months basic pay or more in value or existing holding/interest in the shares worth two months basic pay or more in his/her own CPSE either in his/her own name or in the name of any family member indicating quantity, price, date of transaction and nature of interest within 4 working days.