New rules bar retention of gifts worth over $300.

ISLAMABAD -- The federal cabinet on Tuesday introduced a new policy for Toshakhana gifts, under which public office-holders can only retain presents worth less than $300.

The policy titled 'Toshakhana Procedure for the Acceptance and Disposal of Gifts, 2023', which was framed on March 8, was made public on Tuesday after a cabinet meeting approved it.

As per the policy, the government functionaries 'except those in BPS-1 to BPS-4' were barred from receiving cash awards as gifts. In case they could not decline the cash, the amount shall be immediately deposited to the treasury and a copy of the treasury challan shall be provided to the Toshakhana in-charge, it said.

The new policy also prohibited government functionaries from receiving gifts for their spouses or family members. 'Such gifts received by the president/head of the government for their person or their family members shall be deposited in Toshakhana for the determination of assessed market value, retention cost, and further disposal as per Toshakhana procedure. These instructions do not apply to gifts and donations made to institutions.'

Revised Toshakhana policy gets nod from cabinet

'Gift(s) valuing up to $300 shall be allowed to be retained by the recipient after due payments as per its assessed market value,' the memo said, adding that the presents exceeding $300 would be deposited in Toshakhana.

According to the policy, all gifts, irrespective of value, must be 'reported' and 'deposited' in Toshakhana within '30 days of receipt of the gifts' or '30 days from the date of return to Pakistan in case of [a] foreign visit'.

It added that 'punitive action' would be taken against the individual recipient if they failed to report the receipt of gifts and deposit them within the stipulated timeframe. The 'chief of protocol', who is an officer of the foreign ministry, or his representative attached to visiting dignitaries or delegations will be responsible to supply the list of the gifts received and the names of their recipients.

In cases where the protocol chief...

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