Union ministers declare assets; Manmohan worth
5 cr, Kamalnath richest
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who had taken strong exception to a
remark last month by a senior member of parliament on his personal
integrity, led his council of ministers in declaring their
personal assets on the official web site. His wealth is estimated
at Rs.5 crore and he owns a Maruti »
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his ministerial team Saturday
declared their assets that places his own wealth at Rs.5.1 crore
($1.3 million), while Urban Development Minister Kamal Nath is
richest with over Rs.250 crore ($55 million). Defence Minister A.K.
Antony seems the poorest with Rs.35 lakh ($77,000).
The declaration, required under the Code of Conduct for Ministers,
also follows Manmohan Singh taking strong exception to remarks by
a senior member of parliament on his personal integrity during a
debate last month.
"I have been directed by the prime minister to apprise you of the
declarations required by a member of the union council of
ministers in accordance with the Code of Conduct for Ministers,"
said a letter in June from then cabinet secretary K.M.
Following this letter and two reminders, the ministers were given
an ultimatum and asked to respond at the latest by Aug 31. Similar
declarations were also made last year and, like this year, it
included the details of immediate family members as well.
All the 32 cabinet ministers, seven ministers of state with
independent charge and 37 ministers of state have responded, apart
from the prime minister himself.
As per the latest declarations -- posted in www.pmindia.nic.in --
Communications and IT Minister Kapil Sibal and Chemicals and
Fertilisers Minister M.K. Azhagiri figure among those with
relatively higher wealth, estimated at Rs.30 crore ($6.5 million)
Among the so-called big-four in the council, Finance Minister
Pranab Mukherjee is worth around Rs.3 crore, Home Minister P.
Chidambaram around Rs.25 crore, Antony around Rs.35 lakh, while
External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna commands a little over Rs.
Among the other heavyweights, Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar is
worth Rs.12 crore.
As for the prime minister himself, in the three-page declaration,
his personal wealth, which included properties and cash, has been
estimated at Rs.5.1 crore ($1.3 million). He may officially travel
in BMWs, but owns a Maruti 800 of 1996 vintage worth $560.
Speaking on the debate on corruption in the Lok Sabha Aug 25, the
prime minister had said he was hurt by the remarks made by
Bharatiya Janata Party's Murli Manohar Joshi, which attacked his
personal integrity during his long years in public life.
"Dr. Murli Manohar Joshi is not here. Yesterday, he made a
powerful speech and he turned (it) into a personal attack on me as
if I am the fountainhead of corruption and that I have knowingly
connived at corruptions of some of my colleagues," he said.
"I would like to assert before this house that I have a public
life in the service of this country for nearly 41 years. In these
41 years of my public life, 20 years in parliament I have tried to
serve this country to the best of my ability."