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.
As per the code of conduct, the Minister will have to refrain from starting or joining any business, ensure that the members of his family do not start, or participate in, business concerns, engaged in supplying goods or services to that Government or dependent primarily on grant of licenses, permits, quotas, leases, etc., from that Government. The Minister will have to report the matter to the Prime Minister if any member of his family sets up or joins in the conduct and management of any other business.
No Minister should personally or through a member of his family accept contribution for any purpose, whether political, charitable or otherwise.
If any purse or cheque intended for a registered society, or a charitable body, or an institution recognised by a public authority, or a political party is presented to him, he should pass it on as soon as possible to the organisation for which it is intended.
A Minister should not associate himself with raising of funds except for the benefit of a registered society, or a charitable body, or an institution recognised by a public authority and a political party. He should, however, ensure that such contributions are sent to a specified office bearer, etc. of the society or body or institution of party concerned and not to him.
With regard to a business concern which supplies goods or services to the government concerned or to undertakings of that government or whose business primarily depends on licenses, permits, quotas, leases etc. received or to be received from the government concerned, the ministers will have to divest themselves of all interests in the said business and also of the management thereof.