Assam cabinet minister Ranoj Pegu on Tuesday talked about introducing the system of Toshakhana in the state during his address to the media at Janata Bhawan in Guwahati.
However, the state education minister had to explain the word and its origin. If you are among those wondering what it means, read on.
Speaking to reporters today, Ranoj Pegu said that the system of Toshakhana will be introduced to safe-keep items gifted to ministers, MLAs, and high-level government officials among others who represent the government on official trips to other states or on foreign tours.
Explaining about the word, Pegu said, "The central government already has a system of Toshakhana. Tosha word has its origins in Sanskrit language and since Assamese is a derivative of it, sometimes we use the term 'Tukhamud' which means appeasement. Hence, the word 'Tukha' comes from 'Tosha' in Sanskrit. The Assam government is mulling over introducing the concept at the state level."
Under this system, the chief minister, cabinet ministers, legislators, the chairman of public sector undertakings, and senior government officials will have to submit the items they receive as gifts on official visits to the national capital or other states or while on international tours, at the Toshakhana, said the cabinet minister.
Ranoj Pegu said, "The gifts we receive are not our personal belongings, but we receive them as the representatives of the post we hold in the state government. Hence, the rightful owner of these items would be the state government. Thus, we will be adopting the system of Toshakhana where such items will be stored."
He said, "If the gifts we receive from foreign governments, governments in other states, and dignitaries are worth above Rs 2,000, we cannot keep such items for ourselves. Then we have to submit it to the Toshakhana."
"However, if we want to keep them for ourselves, then we have to pay the price at the Toshakhana which will be the price of the item minus Rs 2,000," added the education minister.
He explained saying that if a gifted item cost Rs 10,000 and the recipient wants to keep it personally, then he or she will have to pay Rs 10,000 minus Rs 2,000 which is Rs 8,000, at the Toshakhana and check-out the item.
Replying to questions on how the price of a gift item to be kept in the Toshakhana will be decided, Ranoj Pegu said, "A board will be notified to finalize the valuation of the gift. The valuation will be done within one month. The gift will be kept at the Toshakhana strong room under lock and key."