British Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak is attracting criticism for allegedly failing to disclose his wife Akshata Murthy's financial holdings. Askhata is the daughter of Infosys founder NR Narayana Murthy.
According to The Guardian, Sunak failed to disclose his wife's assets worth several million pounds. The publication said that her assets make Akshata richer than the Queen of England.
Akshata reportedly owns shares worth GBP 480 million, which is roughly Rs 4,200 crore, in Narayana Murthy's tech company Infosys. Meanwhile, Queen Elizabeth's personal wealth is around GBP 350 million, roughly Rs 3,400 crore.
According to UK law, every minister is expected to openly declare all their financial details and those of close family members upon taking office. This is done to ensure that no conflict of interest arises when ministers are executing their duties. Sunak allegedly did not follow this law as he failed to disclose his wife's financial assets. A probe launched into the matter has even found out that Sunak's financial statements mention that his wife is the owner of a small UK-based firm called Catamaran Ventures.
Akshata owning shares of Infosys amounts to a conflict of interest situation for Sunak as the UK government is a contractor of the tech giant. The Guardian also reports that Akshata has undeclared stakes in at least six other UK firms and holdings, this includes a GBP 900 million-a-year joint venture with Amazon India.
There are already demands for the UK government ethics watchdog to investigate into the matter. However, internal advisors of British PM Boris Johnson reportedly have expressed satisfaction with content of Sunak's financial disclosures and have stated that he properly followed the ministerial code of conduct.
Copyright©2021 Living Media India Limited. For reprint rights: Syndications Today