Gifts are generally presented to Very Important Persons (VIPs) from India during their foreign visits. As per data shared by the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) in the Lok Sabha, Indian VIPs received a total of 666 gifts from 106 different countries between 2013 and 2015.
Gifts are generally presented to Very Important Persons (VIPs) from India during their foreign visits. As per data shared by the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) in the Lok Sabha, Indian VIPs received a total of 666 gifts from 106 different countries between 2013 and 2015. What are the rules governing the gifts received by the VIPs? The gifts accepted by VIPs during their foreign visits are governed by Foreign Contribution (Acceptance or Retention of Gifts or Presentations) Rules, 2012. As per the rules, any person who is a member of the official Indian Delegation receiving any gift or presentation from a foreign source, has to report the receipt of such a gift within 30 days to the Secretary of the relevant Ministry of the Government of India that sponsored the program. While reporting the receipt of the gift, the following information also has to be furnished.
- Fact of having received the gift or presentation
- The foreign source from which such a gift was received
- The approximate market value of the received gift
- The date and place of receipt of the gift
- Any other relevant details
The received gift should also be deposited with the secretary of the relevant Department. The secretary of the relevant department then sends it to the Toshakhana in the MEA for assessment of its market value. The assessment has to be made by a board of three in the MEA including a Customs Appraiser within a period of 30 days. Once the assessment is complete, the recipient is informed about the assessed market value of the gift by the Toshakhana. If the value is less than Rs.5000, the gift is offered to the recipient for retention. If the value is more than Rs.5000, the recipient is offered the option to purchase the gift on payment of the difference between the market value and Rs.5000. Most Gifts received from Bangladesh The details of the gifts received in the Toshakhana are updated quarterly on the MEA website. The details include the description of the gift, name of the recipient, the assessed value and the current location of the gift. It has to be noted that the number of gifts received would depend on the visit of Indian VIPs to those countries or the visit of dignitaries from those countries to India. As per data shared by the MEA in the Lok Sabha, a total of 666 gifts were received by the Indian VIPs from 106 different countries between 2013 and 2015. In 2013, 108 gifts were received followed by 191 in 2014 and 367 in 2015. The number of gifts received in 2015 was more than the combined total of the gifts received in 2013 and 2014. The most number of gifts were received from Bangladesh (55), followed by China (52) and Russia (30). Twenty (20) or above gifts were received from 8 different countries. Ten (10) or more gifts were received from 22 different countries. Sixteen (16) gifts were received from USA while twelve (12) gifts were received from Pakistan. Featured Image:Indian VIP Foreign Visits