Britain’s Finance Minister Rishi Sunak is surrounded by allegations of not giving information about his wife’s assets. Based on its investigative report, the newspaper The Guardian has claimed that Sunak’s wife Akshatha Murthy owns shares worth millions of pounds. Apart from this, she is a director in many companies. It is alleged that Rishi Sunak did not provide this information in the official register. Whereas according to British rules, it is mandatory for every minister to declare all his or her spouse’s assets.
Akshata Murthy is the daughter of Narayana Murthy, a renowned personality in India’s IT industry. He was married to Sunak in 2009. Narayana Murthy founded the famous IT company Infosys. According to a report by The Guardian, the current shares of Akshata Murthy in this company are worth 43 million pounds. On this basis, she is one of Britain’s wealthiest women. His own wealth is more than that of the Queen of Britain.
According to the Code of Ministers made for Britain, it is necessary for every minister to declare all financial interests, which may be related to his responsibility as a minister or in order to perform duties which may lead to conflict of interest. Under this, the ministers have to declare financial interests of their near and dear ones, siblings, parents, wife and in-laws. It is believed that the minister’s interests may conflict with all these interests while working.
Sunak does not mention any family other than his wife in the register. He merely states that Akshata is the owner of a British capital company. But the latest investigative report has revealed that many other financial interests of Akshata Murthy and her family are present in the UK. The Guardian has published a long list about this. This shows that the wealth of Akshata Murthy goes to billions of pounds.
Speaking to The Guardian, Sir Alister Graham, former president of the committee on Committee on Standards in Public Life (High Standards in Public Life), said that it is very important that Rishi Sunak would give full details of his and his immediate family’s wealth. Especially given that the finance minister has financial and business policies in his hands.
The Committee on Standards in Public Life monitors the conduct of people in public positions in Britain. Graham said that Sage Sunak took a light stance towards this inevitability. They should read the fundamentals of public life carefully, so that they can perform their duties honestly.
According to The Guardian, Sunak and Akshata Murthy declined to comment on the matter. But the Finance Ministry said that all the proper procedures for declaring financial interests have been followed. The ministry said that they do not decide what the ministers should declare and what not. Rather, it is decided by officers and independent consultants. The ministry spokesperson said that the Prime Minister’s independent advisors were satisfied with the plea made by the Finance Minister that they have fully complied with the Ministerial Code. But The Guardian says that it is clearly written in the Ministerial Code that the ministers have to give in writing all the financial interests that could lead to a conflict of interest. It also includes the interests of spouse and close relatives.