Thursday, Jun 27th 2019
Trending News

'Cash in hand' Declaration by Union Ministers for 2016-did they queue up to deposit money in banks & when?

By Venkatesh Nayak, CHRI | PUBLISHED: 01, Dec 2016, 14:55 pm IST | UPDATED: 02, Dec 2016, 15:22 pm IST

'Cash in hand' Declaration by Union Ministers for 2016-did they queue up to deposit money in banks & when?

New Delhi: Prime Minister Modi has directed MPs of his Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to declare their bank transactions to the President of the Party in a bid to lead by example to come clean on their actions 'after' the decision to demonetise currency notes of Rs. 500 and Rs. 1000 denomination. The leader of a prominent political party has demanded transparency regarding the alleged  financial dealings of the top leaders of the BJP.

Meanwhile the print and the electronic media have covered the travails of citizens across the country who have rushed to banks to deposit their old currency notes and exchange some for the newly printed Rs. 2000 and Rs. 500 bank notes. With the exception of the Vice President of the Indian National Congress (INC) who queued up before a bank branch in Delhi to exchange a small sum of the demonetised notes for new ones, people did not see any other political leader from any other political party queueing up before banks like them with money in hand and worries in their minds about the uncertain future. Media reports indicate several unfortunate incidents of citizens dying while standing in serpentine queues. Many more have been asking publicly why the political leaders are not found standing before banks like them.

"Cash in hand" declaration made by Union Ministers in 2016

Thanks to the Code of Conduct (2nd attachment which I obtained this through the RTI Act) laid down for Ministers (Union and State levels) during the 1960s and revised from time to time, they are required to declare their assets and liabilities details apart from other dealings, where they may have financial interests. Similarly, as Members of the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha, Ministers declare details of their assets and liabilities in accordance with Section 75A of the Representation of the People Act, 1951 (see pages 38-39 in this document). These declarations are voluntarily disclosed by the Government. They contain details of the "cash in hand" declared by every Minister in addition to details of bank deposits, other movable and immovable property that they own along with similar details of assets owned by hi or her spouse and dependent children. These details declared by most of the Union Ministers as on 31st March 2016 are accessible on the official website of the Prime Minister's office. While some declarations seem to have been made for the purpose of complying with the Code of Conduct, others seem to have submitted the declarations furnished to Parliament under the respective House Rules.

The data about how much "cash in hand" with Ministers including the Hon'ble Prime Minister have declared (1st attachment) officially by the end of March 2016 has been compiled. As this is publicly declared information, there is no reason to suspect any connection with "black money". Frustrating people with black money and forcing them to come clean is one of the reasons why the Government has said that it too the decision to demonetise high value currency notes.

However, every citizen who has stood for hours before banks to either deposit the old currency notes in their accounts or exchange them for the new ones has the right to know when and where did the Ministers deposit the small and large sums of cash they held in their bank accounts. This is a small way of commemorating those citizens who died standing in serpentine queues before banks. The first question that every citizen should ask is:

1) whether these Ministers ever stood in queues like the common citizen whom they are sworn to serve, to deposit their demonetised currency notes unless all of them had cash in smaller denominations or sent their peons or relatives or some other person to make the transaction? When did they actually make these deposits?

The Government has indicated that the Income Tax (IT) Department may turn its scanner on account holders who deposit more than Rs. 2.5 lakhs in cash in their accounts either in one go or in installments. So the second question that citizens should ask is:

2) whether the IT Dept. will look at Ministers making deposits above Rs. 2.5 lakhs with the same degree of suspicion as they will at an ordinary citizen who makes similar high value deposits?

In order to dispel any doubt about whether the declaration includes money deposited in bank have compiled this data also in a separate column in the 1st attachment to contrast it with the data about "cash in hand" declared by the Ministers. Please note the following caveats while reading the compiled data:

1) A large number of Ministers have declared cash in hand separately from bank balance and deposits of various kinds. I have indicated both figures against each name wherever data is available separately. I have not included these categories of disclosure for their spouses and dependents as they are not public figures. The remarks in the last column at some rows contain my comments about the quality of data.

2) The cells highlighted in red indicate those Ministers whose tax history must be scrutinised, in theory, if they have deposited demonetised notes worth above Rs. 2.5 lakhs because such rules are applicable to ordinary citizens.

3) Assets and Liabilities Declarations of 2 Cabinet Ministers, and 17 Ministers of State are not published on the PMO's website (coded as ND in the attached MSExcel file). Whether they have actually made any declaration to the PM or to the Houses of which they are Members is not known.

The biggest amount of "cash in hand" in the Council of Ministers was declared by the Finance Minister - more than Rs. 65 lakhs. This data published on the PMO's website has been triply checked. The Hon'ble Prime Minister declared more than Rs. 89,000 as cash in hand. When did all these Ministers go to banks or whom did they send to deposit these amounts and when, are very important question that every citizen must ask.

4) 6 Cabinet Ministers and 5 Ministers of State have not included "cash in hand" data in their declarations, to the best of my knowledge.

Disclosing such information will not be a violation of privacy of the Ministers

Citizens can use The Right to Information Act, 2005 (RTI Act) to ask the Central Government such questions without worrying about violating the right to privacy of the Ministers. In August 2015, the Central Government got the Attorney General of India (AGI) to question a catena of judgements of the Supreme Court that the right to privacy was a fundamental right. In a bunch of matters challenging the actions of the Government to make Aadhaar Unique Identification compulsory for a range of services and welfare programmes, the AGI put this question to the Apex Court. The Hon'ble Supreme Court felt persuaded to refer the matter to a Constitution Bench to determine whether people in India indeed have a constitutionally guaranteed right to privacy. I have commented about this issue extensively last year.

Given these facts, in my humble opinion, the Government's view is that there is no fundamental right to privacy for anybody including for Ministers under the Constitution. So Section 8(1)(j) of the RTI Act which was designed to protect personal information from being disclosed leading to unwarranted invasion of the privacy of an individual, becomes an unreasonable restriction on the fundamental right to information which is a part of the right to freedom of speech end expression guaranteed under Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution. So, there should be no legal bar on providing answers to the information sought in the two queries listed above.

Readers may kindly note that I am not making any allegations of "black money" or money that is not accounted for in the declarations of Ministers. However in a country whose national motto is satyameva jayate (truth alone shall triumph) and given the BJP's latest step to demand transparency from its own MPs, citizens should push the envelope towards greater transparency of Ministers and other elected representatives.

Information about how much "cash in hand" was declared by candidates who got elected as MPs and MLAs is available on the dedicated website being maintained by the Association for Democratic Reforms- http://myneta.info/. Readers might like to ask similar questions from MPs and MLAs belonging to all political parties.

 


Assest and Liabilities Declaration of Union Ministers
Cash in Hand and Bank Balance (including fixed and term deposits and interest accrued) Declared for the year 2015-16
(website:
http://www.pmindia.gov.in/en/assets-and-liabilities-of-the-union-council-of-ministers-2015-2016/ updated on 22/11/2016)

Name

Rank
MC= Cabinet Minister;
MoS(I) = Minister of State, Independent Charge;
MoS = Minister of State

Portfolio

Declared
Y = Yes
N= No
ND= A&L Declaration not displayed on the website

Cash in Hand (Rs.)
NA = not applicable
(does not include amount declared as HUF)

Bank Savings including fixed and recurring deposits

As on Date

NA = not applicable

Remarks

Shri Narendra Modi

PM

PM and other departments

Y

89,700

53,36,724

3/31/2016

 

Shri Rajnath Singh

MC

Home

Y

60,000

1,00,23,682.25

3/31/2016

 

Smt. Sushma Swaraj

MC

External Affairs

Y

284,150

2,33,21,412

3/31/2016

 

Shri Arun Jaitley

MC

Finance

Y

65,29,400

1,00,20,247

3/31/2016

 

Shri M Venkaiah Naidu

MC

Urban Development etc.

Y

26,800

27,44,260

3/31/2016

 

Shri Nitin J Gadkari

MC

Road Transport & Highways

ND

NA

NA

NA

 

Shri Manohar Parrikar

MC

Defence

ND

NA

NA

NA

 

Shri Suresh Prabhu

MC

Railways

Y

40,500

9,60,373

3/31/2016

 

Shri D V Sadananda Gowda

MC

Statistics & Programme Implementation

N

NA

6,94,686.39

NA

 

Sushri Uma Bharti

MC

Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation

N

NA

30,87,491

NA

 

Shri Ram Vilas Paswan

MC

Consumer Affairs & Food and Public Distribution

Y

50,000

30,50,506.25

3/31/2016

 

Shri Kalraj Mishra

MC

MSME

N

NA

69,95,588

NA

 

Smt. Maneka Sanjay Gandhi

MC

WCD

Y

44,000

1,52,63,512

3/31/2016

 

Shri Ananth Kumar

MC

Chemicals & Fertilisers, Parliamentary Affairs

Y

50,000

13,91,880

3/31/2016

 

Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad

MC

Law & Justice and  Electronics & IT

Y

59,968

9,36,54,374

3/31/2016

 

Shri Jagat Prakash Nadda

MC

Health & Family Welfare

Y

50,000

15,56,191.48

3/31/2016

 

Shri Ashok Gajapati Raju

MC

Civil Aviation

N

NA

5,79,71,574.06

NA

 

Shri Anant Geete

MC

Heavy Industries & Public Enterprises

Y

21,759

1,09,58,745

3/31/2016

 

Smt. Harsimrat Kaur Badal

MC

Food Processing Industries

N

NA

5,24,503.07

NA

 

Shri Narendra Singh Tomar

MC

Rural Dev, Panchayati Raj, Drinking Water & Sanitation

Y

125,000

44,12,958.39

8/28/2016

 

Shri Chaudhary Birender Singh

MC

Steel

Y

?

1,07,09,606

8/2/2016

cash, bank balances and FD receipts declared as one category

Shri Jual Oram

MC

Tribal Affairs

N

NA

59,21,105

NA

 

Shri Radha Mohan Singh

MC

Agriculture & Farmers' Welfare

Y

9,95,614

24,34,634

NA

 

Shri Thawar Chand Gehlot

MC

Social Justice & Empowerment

Y

4,32,000

15,47,116

3/31/2016

 

Smt.  Smriti Zubin Irani

MC

Textiles

Y

4,57,850

22,27,935

3/31/2016

 

Dr. Harsh Vardhan

MC

Science & Technology

Y

7,500

8,05,411.53

3/31/2016

 

Shri Prakash Javadekar

MC

Human Resource Development

Y

?

11,91,126

3/31/2016

cash and bank deposits declared as one category

Shri Rao Inderjit Singh

MoS(I)

Planning

Y

9,75,048

7,70,60,725

3/31/2016

does not include deposits held jointly with spouse and deposits in private companies

Shri Bandaru Dattatreya

MoS(I)

Labour & Employment

ND

NA

NA

NA

 

Shri Rajiv Pratap Rudy

MoS(I)

Skill Dev & Entrepreneurship

Y

45,000

3,052,231

3/31/2016

 

Shri Vijay Goel

MoS(I)

Youth Affairs & Sports

Y

1,35,000

801,000

3/31/2016

 

Shri Shripad Yesso Naik

MoS(I)

AAYUSH

Y

22,12,683

2,183,371

3/31/2016

 

Shri Dharmendra Pradhan

MoS(I)

Petroleum & Natural Gas

Y

84,950

1,872,421

3/31/2016

 

Shri Piyush Goyal

MoS(I)

Power, Coal, Renewable Energy etc

Y

3,43,127

5,112,027

3/31/2016

 

Dr. Jitendra Singh

MoS(I)

DoNER, Personnel, Pensions & Public Grievances, PMO, Dept. of Atomic Energy, Dept. of Space

Y

65,000

1,08,36,633

3/31/2016

 

Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman

MoS(I)

Commerce & Industry

Y

31,200

626,707

3/31/2016

 

Dr. Mahesh Sharma

MoS(I)

Culture & Tourism

Y

2,47,993

4,976,416

3/31/2016

 

Shri Manoj Sinha

MoS(I)

Communications & Railways

ND

NA

NA

NA

 

Shri Anil Madhav Dave

MoS(I)

Environment, Forest & Climate Change

N

NA

NA

NA

 

Shri Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi

MoS(I)

Minosirty Affairs &  Parliamentary Affairs

N

NA

NA

NA

 

General (retd.) V K Singh

MoS

External Affairs

Y

4,70,000

64,65,072

31/3/2016

 

Shri Santosh Gangwar

MoS

Finance

ND

NA

NA

NA

 

Shri Faggan Singh Kulaste

MoS

Health & Family Welfare

Y

4,55,000

5.03,150

31/3/2016

 

Shri S. S. Ahluwalia

MoS

Agriculture & Farmers' Welfare

Y

?

?

31/3/2016

Rs. 45,14,278 worth of cash, bank balance  declared as a single category

Shri Ramdas Athawale

MoS

Social Justice & Empowerment

ND

NA

NA

NA

 

Shri Ram Kirpal Yadav

MoS

Rural Development

ND

NA

NA

NA

 

Shri Haribhai Parathibai Chaudhary

MoS

MSME

Y

9,65,400

12,95,436

1/4/2016

 

Shri Giriraj Singh

MoS

MSME

Y

blank column

31,52,807

31/03/2016

 

Shri Hansraj Gangaram Ahir

MoS

Home

Y

10,46,157

Shri Ramesh Chandappa Jigajinagi

MoS

Drinking Water & Sanitation

ND

NA

NA

NA

 

Shri Rajesh Gohain

MoS

Railways

Y

2,03,848

5,64,751

13/10/2016

 

Shri Parshottam Rupala

MoS

Agriculture & Farmers' Welfare & Panchayati Raj

Y

7,65,000

1,70,69,350

?

Elected as MP in June 2016

Shri M J Akbar

MoS

External Affairs

Y

51,713

33,625,064

?

 

Shri Upendra Kushwaha

MoS

Human Resource Development

ND

NA

NA

NA

 

Shri Radhakrishnan P

MoS

Road Transport & Highways, Shipping

N

NA

NA

NA

 

Shri Kiren Rijiju

MoS

Home

ND

NA

NA

NA

 

Shri Krishan Pal

MoS

Social Justice & Empowerment

ND

NA

NA

NA

 

Shri Jasvantsinh Sumanbhai Bhabhor

MoS

Tribal Affairs

ND

NA

NA

NA

 

Dr. Sanjeev Kumar Balyan

MoS

Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation

Y

7,472

14,55,941

31/03/2016

 

Shri Vishnu Deo Sai

MoS

Steel

ND

NA

NA

NA

 

Shri Sudarshan Bhagat

MoS

Agriculture & Farmers' Welfare

N

NA

NA

NA

 

Shri Y. S. Chowdhary

MoS

Science & Technology & Earth Sciences

Y

5,54,000

1,39,96,000

31/03/2016

 

Shri Jayant Sinha

MoS

Civil Aviation

Y

83,355

88,86,317

31/03/2016

 

Col. (retd.) Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore

MoS

Information & Broadcasting

ND

NA

NA

NA

 

Shri Babul Supriyo

MoS

Heavy Industries & Public Enterprises

ND

NA

NA

NA

 

Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti

MoS

Food Processing Industries

Y

6,60,000

22,87,113.22

?

 


Assest and Liabilities Declaration of Union Ministers
Cash in Hand and Bank Balance (including fixed and term deposits and interest accrued) Declared for the year 2015-16
(website:
http://www.pmindia.gov.in/en/assets-and-liabilities-of-the-union-council-of-ministers-2015-2016/ updated on 22/11/2016)

Name

Rank
MC= Cabinet Minister;
MoS(I) = Minister of State, Independent Charge;
MoS = Minister of State

Portfolio

Declared
Y = Yes
N= No
ND= A&L Declaration not displayed on the website

Cash in Hand (Rs.)
NA = not applicable
(does not include amount declared as HUF)

Bank Savings including fixed and recurring deposits

As on Date

NA = not applicable

Remarks

Shri Vijay Sampla

MoS

Social Justice & Empowerment

ND

NA

NA

NA

 

Shri Arjun Ram Meghwal

MoS

Finance & Corporate Affairs

Y

NIL

63,50,816

3/9/2016

 

Dr. Mahendranath Pandey

MoS

Human Resource Development

ND

NA

NA

NA

 

Shri Ajay Tamta

MoS

Textiles

Y

N

NA

NA

 

Smt. Krishna Raj

MoS

WCD

ND

NA

NA

NA

 

Shri Mansukh L. Mandaviya

MoS

Road Transport & Highways, Shipping & Chemicals & Fertilisers

Y

27,000

NIL

?

 

Smt. Anupriya Patel

MoS

Health & Family Welfare

ND

NA

NA

NA

 

Shri C. R. Chaudhary

MoS

Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution

Y

85,000

71,77,238.54

?

 

Shri P. P. Chaudhary

MoS

Law & Justice and  Electronics & IT

Y

1,95,784

6,55,059.95

31/3/2016

 

Dr. Subhash Ramrao Bhamre

MoS

Defence

N

NIL

amount not mentioned

?

 

You Might also Like
Editor's Blog

After Masood, time to think larger connect between the India and China

by : Priti Prakash

Out of the three significant issues that majorly dot India China relations, NSG and BRI being the ot...

Quick Vote

Should the security forces be given free hand to deal with terrorists in J&K?