Indian ministers grow richer with average assets of Rs.10 crore

September 15th, 2011 - 7:24 pm ICT by IANS  

P. Chidambaram New Delhi, Sep 15 (IANS) Holding assets of over Rs.10 crore (Rs.100 million) on an average, ministers of India’s central government have grown richer since the 2009 general elections, an election watchdog’s report said Thursday adding that at least 19 of them have not declared all their assets.

According to the report by the Association for Democratic Research (ADR) and National Election Watch (NEW), a union minister in India, on an average, has property worth over Rs.10 crore — over Rs.3 crore more than what they owned in 2009 - on the basis of their recent declaration to the prime minister’s office.

This is despite many ministers not declaring several of their assets of lesser value in the recent declarations, and many even reporting a decrease.

“The average asset value of a minister in the current ministry is Rs.10,63,55,097 (Rs.10.6 crore). In 2009, the average asset value of a minister was Rs.7.3 crore. The current ministers, on an average, are Rs.3.3 crore richer than in 2009,” the report said.

PMO declared the assets of all 77 ministers in the cabinet on Sep 3.

The ADR-NEW report, compiled on the basis of comparison between the assets of ministers disclosed by prime minister’s office, affidavits filed by them while contesting 2009 Lok Sabha elections and assets declared to Rajya Sabha Secretariat in 2009, show many ministers have not declared all their assets to the PMO.

“In their 2011 declarations to PMO, 19 ministers have not given the value of several of their movable and immovable assets,” the report said.

Law Minister M. Veerappa Moily’s assets meanwhile registered a downfall of 95 percent. He declared his movable and immovable asset as being ‘nil’ in 2011 whereas according to his 2009 affidavit, his movable assets were worth Rs.53 lakh and immovable assets worth nearly Rs.2.4 crore.

Home Minister P. Chidambaram’s assets have meanwhile decreased by 11 percent since 2009. New and Renewable Energy Minister and former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Farooq Abdllah’s assets have decreased by 93 percent from 2009.

Other ministers who have shown a decrease in their assets also include Agatha Sangma (Nationalist Congress Party), Prateek P. Patil, Virbhadra Singh, R.P.N. Singh, Vincent Pala, Jitin Prasada, S. Jaipal Reddy, Preneet Kaur, Jairam Ramesh, S.M. Krishna and G.K. Vasan (all Congress), and D. Napoleon (DMK).

On the other hand, Power Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde’s assets have grown by 107 percent, even though he has not mentioned three residential flats owned by him and his wife.

Minister of State for Commerce and Industry Jyotiraditya Scindia has not mentioned at least four non-agricultural land plots owned by him and 12 residential buildings. Still his assets have grown by 119 percent.

Similarly, a Scorpio and a Tavera car are missing from Tribal Affairs Minister V.C. Deo’s list.

Women and Child Development Minister Krishna Tirath, meanwhile, has missed mentioning in her declaration 6,580 gm of gold jewellery belonging to her and a plot in Gurgaon.

However, despite the fact that not all properties belonging to the ministers have been declared, the ministers have grown richer.

The highest asset increase in Rupee-terms has been for Dr. S. Jagathrakshakan of DMK whose assets show an increase of Rs.64.5 crore in two years (from Rs.5.9 crore in 2009 to Rs.70 crore 2011). He is followed by Praful Patel (NCP) with an increase of Rs.42 crore (from Rs.79.8 crore in 2009 to Rs.122 crore in 2011) and Kamal Nath (Congress) with an increase of Rs.26 crore (from Rs.14 crore in 2009 to Rs.41 crore in 2011).

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