With the Central government demanding transparency from its own MPs and people being forced to stand in serpentine queues before banks in the wake of demonetisation move, a report has emerged that a number of ministers had large cash holdings in their possession as on March 31, 2016.
As per the data assembled by the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative, only 40 out of 76 Ministers have divulged details regarding the amount of cash they had in hand. The Code of Conduct for Ministers requires them to declare their assets and liabilities in addition to other financial dealings with the Prime Minister ‘s office annually.
According to the CHRI report, the biggest amount of cash in hand in the Council of Ministers was declared by Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley (more than Rs. 65 lakh). Shripad Yesso Naik , Minister of State (Independent) and Hansraj Ahir, MoS (Home) followed him with Rs. 22 lakh and Rs. 10 lakh respectively, The Hindu reports, adding that 23 of them had under Rs 2 lakh in cash while 15 had cash above 2.5 lakh.
While Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s declared cash possession stood at Rs 89,700, a number of senior functionaries, including Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar and Water Resources Minister Uma Bharti did not comply with the Code of Conduct by not declaring their assets.
The details furnished by most of the Union Ministers as on March 31 can be accessed on the official website of the Prime Minister’s office.