Kamal Nath the richest Minister with assets worth Rs. 263 crore

According to the Prime Minister's Office website, which on Friday posted details of the assets and liabilities of Union Council of Ministers for the year 2010-11, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh seems to have a great faith in bank deposits.

In accordance with the Code of Conduct for Ministers, Ministers have to give an update of their assets every year, as also those of their spouses and dependents, along with any business interest. The update is to be given in the prescribed format.

The list for the year 2010-11 comes after nearly two months and three reminders from Cabinet Secretary K.M. Chandrasekhar and is still not complete. However, the asset details of 10 Council members are not present on the PMO website (http://pmindia.nic.in/).

These include Cabinet Minister holding Tribal Affairs portfolio V. Kishore Chandra Deo, two Ministers of State holding independent charge and seven Ministers of State. It is not clear whether any action is contemplated against them.

A number of Ministers, however, have not quantified the value of their immovable property. The assets of Urban Development Minister Kamal Nath and his family are estimated at Rs. 263 crore.

Defence Minister A.K. Antony is seen to have the least amount of assets among the Ministers in the UPA government. Besides a house worth Rs.15 lakh and agriculture land amounting to the same value, the Minister has two savings bank accounts amounting to approximately Rs.1,82,000. The entry in the form for disclosure of their business interests reads “nil.”

Union Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal and Minister of Chemical and Fertilizers M.K. Azhagiri each have assets worth Rs.30 crore. The assets list of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, worth Rs. 4.8 crore, makes interesting reading. Besides a house in Chandigarh and a flat in Vasant Kunj in South Delhi, the rest of his assets are in bank deposits.

Following are a few highlights from the list:

* Dr. Singh: Fixed deposits with SBI worth Rs. 2.7 crore; a house in Chandigarh worth Rs. 90 lakh; a flat in Delhi worth Rs. 88 lakh.

* Home Minister P. Chidambaram: Assets worth Rs.1.04 crore, including shares in three companies.

* Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee: Assets worth Rs.1.1 crore, including two flats and ancestral agriculture land in West Bengal.

* Mr. Sibal: Immovable assets worth Rs. 16.25 crore; bank deposits of Rs. 65 lakh; investments in shares Rs. 40 lakh; jewellery worth Rs. 20 lakh; others assets worth approximately Rs. 4.75 crore.

* Petroleum Minister Murli Deora: He and his wife have combined assets worth Rs.15.2 crore. She runs two companies and a proprietorship firm.

* Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar: Assets worth over Rs. 12 crore, including deposits and shares in various companies.

* External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna: Immovable assets worth Rs. 2.34 lakh; movable assets worth Rs. 4.81 lakh; investments worth Rs. 3 lakh; and savings worth Rs. 12 lakh. His wife's assets are approximately Rs. 21 lakh.

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