All ministers in the Narendra Modi government will have to submit details of their assets, liabilities and business interests to the prime minister within two months. They have also been directed to sever all connections, short of divesting themselves of ownership, with the conduct and management of any business in which they had interests before being appointed minister.
This was stated in the code of conduct for ministers re-issued by the home ministry after the new government took charge. The code, whose observance will be monitored by the prime minister, also asked ministers to uphold the political impartiality of civil services and not ask the civil servants to act in any way that would conflict with their duties and responsibilities.
It also asks the minister to "ensure that his family members do not start or participate in business concerns engaged in supplying of goods or services to the government and there should be total prohibition on employment of spouse and dependents with a foreign mission".
The details to be disclosed by the minister will consist of particulars of all immovable property and the total approximate value of shares and debentures, cash holdings and jewellery of himself and family members.
Such a statement of assets and liabilities could be in respect of the financial year for which the income tax return has already been filed by the minister. As per the code of conduct, after taking office and so long as he remains in office, the Minister shall furnish annually by the 31st August to the prime minister a declaration regarding his assets and liabilities for the previous financial year.
The minister will have to refrain from buying from or selling to the government any immovable property except where such property is compulsorily acquired by the government in usual course.
Image: Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the South Block in New Delhi. Photograph: Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Twitter page