Open source data indicates that a number of Ministers had large cash holdings as on March 31, 2016. The Code of Conduct for Ministers stipulates that they must file details of their assets and liabilities with the Prime Minister’s Office annually. This data, collated by Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative reveals that of the 76 Ministers who are currently serving, 40 have declared the amount of cash they had in hand.
Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley topped the list with over Rs. 65 lakh, followed by Shripad Yesso Naik, Minister of State (Independent) with Rs. 22 lakh and Hansraj Ahir, MoS (Home) with a little over Rs. 10 lakh. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has declared cash holdings of Rs. 89,700.
As many as 23 Ministers declared that they had under Rs. 2 lakh in cash, while 15 held cash in excess of Rs. 2.5 lakh.
A number of prominent Ministers, including Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar and Water Resources Minister Uma Bharti have not declared their assets with the PMO.
The data also reveals that not everyone in the Cabinet shares the Prime Minister’s enthusiasm for cashless transactions.