‘Modi has a modest rise in assets’

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s assets grew by around Rs 27 lakh in 2016-17 compared to previous fiscal, according to assets details made public.

Besides Modi, only 16 of the 76 ministers in the Union Council of Ministers have submitted the details of their assets so far though the deadline set by the Prime Minister has passed on August 31. Of these, nine ministers were sworn in earlier this month only while six had quit following reshuffle.

According to the details, Modi has assets a little above Rs two crore as on March 31, up from Rs 1.73 crore reported in 2015-16 and Rs 1.41 crore in 2014-15.

He has Rs 1.49 lakh as cash in hand while his fixed deposits rose by around Rs 39 lakh in the last fiscal. His savings account showed a decline from Rs 2.09 lakh to Rs 1.33 lakh.

An interesting disclosure is that the Prime Minister did not earn a single penny as royalty on books in the last fiscal compared to Rs 12.35 lakh he earned in 2015-16. Otherwise, his jewellery collection (four gold rings weighing 45 grams) remained the same.

The assets details of spouse Jashodaben is marked “not known”.

** Modi did not get royalty for any books in 2016-17

** Ashok Gajapathi Raju still owns a 1982-model jeep

** Sadanand Gowda has licenced weapons

**Ramvilas Paswan’s family owns a petrol pump in south Delhi

Asset details of several senior ministers like Rajnath Singh (Home), Nirmala Sitharaman (Defence), Piyush Goyal (Railway), Ravishankar Prasad (Law), Ananth Kumar (Chemicals and Fertilisers) and Smriti Irani (Information and Broadcasting) are yet to reach the public domain. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley was one the early birds in declaring assets.

Most of the ministers have invested in jewellery with Jaitley reporting that he and his wife own jewellery worth around Rs 1.5 crore. External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj owns jewellery worth Rs 27 lakh while Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari has gold and silver worth 52 lakh.

Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju still owns a 1982-model jeep now valued at Rs 15,000 and a Nano car of Rs 1.30 lakh while his cabinet colleague Sadanand Gowda has declared that he has licenced weapons. Gowda in one of his earlier declarations had said that he has a .32 revolver he bought in 2002 for Rs 55,000 besides a gun he bought for Rs 5,000 in 1989.

Science and Technology Minister Harsh Vardhan, a doctor, has shown his clinic’s assets at Rs 9,399 while Consumer Affairs Minister Ramvilas Paswan has said that his family owns a petrol pump in south Delhi. 

(An edited version appeared in Deccan Herald on Sep 24, 2017)

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