Amid claims by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis that there will be no compromise on transparency, five ministers in the state cabinet have not declared their assets and liabilities with the General Administration Department (GAD) led by Fadnavis. Incidentally, all five ministers are from the Shiv Sena.
While the state government has not put up information about assets and liabilities declared by 21 cabinet ministers and 13 ministers of state in the public domain, the information was revealed in response to a Right to Information (RTI) application filed by city-based activist Anil Galgali with the GAD seeking details of ministers who have declared assets and liabilities.
As per the reply given under RTI on August 24 by N K Mali, under secretary in GAD, 21 cabinet ministers and 13 ministers of the state have declared their assets and liabilities. The five who have not declared their assets and liabilities are cabinet ministers Eknath Shinde (Public Works Undertaking) and Dr Deepak Sawant, (Public Health) and three ministers of state, Sanjay Rathod (Revenue), Dadaji Bhuse (Rural Development) and Ravindra Waikar (Housing, Higher & Technical Education).
“It is true that I haven’t yet declared it. Since my chartered accountant has gone out of station, it has been delayed. I was supposed to submit it today but the chartered accountant didn’t come. The file is ready and will be submitted in a day or two,” said Waikar.
Shiv Sena minister Eknath Shinde claimed that he has submitted the information to the GAD two weeks ago. “I have submitted the details around 15 days back,” said Shinde. When asked about other Sena ministers not submitting the information, he said “Ideally, they should have filed the information. I will speak with them.”
Sawant and Rathod were not available for comment. Bhuse said he was not aware of declaring assets and liabilities every year. “I am not aware of yearly declaration of assets and liabilities. If that is the case, I will declare it,” he said.
Galgali, who has been following up on the issue of details of movable and immovable properties of public servants being put in the public domain, said the BJP-led state government, despite its transparency agenda, has not published the information on the website.
“The previous government had put up only names of ministers who had declared assets and liabilities. But this government has not put any names online. It is in stark contrast to the Union government that has put up details on the government website,” he said.