NEW DELHI: Assets of at least five ministers are yet to reflect on the official website of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, days after nearly the entire Cabinet declared income and assets in a move aimed at ensuring transparency.
The five ministers include heavyweights such as Vilasrao Deshmukh, minister for science and technology and earth sciences, and Jayanthi Natarajan, minister of state for environment and forests. Others in the list are minister of state for home Jitendra Singh, minister of state for women and child development Krishna Tirath and S Jagathrakshakan, minister of state for information and broadcasting.
Natarajan, who was the Congress party spokesperson, was recently elevated as a minister and entrusted with the key environment and forests portfolio. Jitendra Singh was also inducted as a minister in the latest Cabinet reshuffle.
Nearly all ministers in Singh’s Cabinet have declared their assets which are now available on the PMO website. Official source said the assets of the five ministers would be be available in the next one or two days. No reasons were given for the delay.
Most of the ministers have been cautious while declaring their assets and have listed the purchase price of their property and have not mentioned the current market value of the properties they hold. A conservative calculation shows that the total worth of the Cabinet would roughly be around Rs 500 crore.
Veteran Congress leader Kamal Nath has emerged as the richest minister in Singh’s Cabinet with assets worth Rs 263 crore. Another Congress heavyweight, health minister Ghulam Nabi Azad, has declared immovable property which includes 9,486.41 square meters of land in Vidharbha in Maharashtra purchased in 1993-94 for Rs 1.39 lakh. He has two savings bank accounts with a total credit of Rs 44,40,000 as on July, 2011. His cash in hand totalled Rs 30,000 only.
His wife has a house and half-acre land worth Rs 50 lakh in Srinagar and a flat in Delhi. She has three savings bank accounts with a balance of over Rs 1 crore. She also has 350 gram of gold worth Rs 826,700 and Rs 40,000 cash in hand.
I&B minister Ambika Soni has declared income from her apartments in Friends Colony. According to her income tax return which has been posted on the website, her total income for the 2011-12 assessment year has been pegged at Rs 45,803,315. She has declared an Optra car worth Rs 1.88 lakh and silver utensils worth Rs 377,245.
Agatha Sangma, one of the youngest ministers in Singh’s Cabinet, has declared a plot in Shilong worth Rs 50 lakh which she has acquired from her mother. Sangma, who was a lawyer before she became a minister, has only Rs 15,000 cash in hand. She has also declared 150 gram of gold jewellery but has not declared any vehicles. The declaration enables a minister to update his or her assets from time to time.