Gujarat ministers not keen on asset declaration

Gujarat ministers not keen on asset declaration

Modi, in a recent Cabinet meeting, had asked his ministers to prepare a list of the movable and immovable assets owned by them and their familes. It is learnt that Modi intends to declare them by the end of this month.

However, this diktat has not gone down well with the ministers and a senior cabinet minister skirted the question by saying that the exercise is an annual one with the ministers declaring their assets to the state General Administration Department. However, there is no question of making these declarations public.

Despite the certificate of incorruptibility, the Narendra Modi Government has not shown remarkable achievement in terms of ensuring transparency by far. Modi’s latest diktat is being viewed as a response to Congress’s allegation of rampant corruption by the ministers. The state unit of the Congress had recently met President Pratibha Patil and handed over a 1,000-page dossier alleging corruption by the state government functionaries.

While the Opposition has been crying itself hoarse over corruption, the reluctance of the ministers in this issue is not going down too well with the transparency watch dogs either.
“When they have been claiming so much about transparency, why this reluctance in declaring their assets,” asked RTI activist Harinesh Pandya. “As it is, such details are to be declared under the provisions of RTI,” he said. “I don’t see any reason why being people’s representatives they should be withholding these information. Declaration of their wealth would only enhance their credibility, which would come under question otherwise,” he pointed out.

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