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Kamal Nath tops rich list, AK Antony at bottom

The govt on Saturday released a list of assets owned by Union ministers. Urban development minister Kamal Nath and his family top the charts with a net worth of over Rs 263 cr.

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Updated: Sep 04, 2011, 03.55 AM IST
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(This story originally appeared in on Sep 04, 2011)
NEW DELHI: The government on Saturday released a list of assets owned by Union ministers. Urban development minister Kamal Nath and his family top the charts with a net worth of over Rs 263 crore. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's holdings are a little over Rs 5 crore.

At the bottom of the pile is the low-profile defence minister, A K Antony, who claims he has a paltry Rs 1.8 lakh in bank deposits.

Compare this with their disclosures when they were contesting the 2009 general elections. While the annexure to Nath's affidavit was not available on the Election Commission website, Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) put the value of his movable and immovable assets at Rs 15 crore.

In his disclosures on the PMO website, Nath says individually he possesses assets to the tune of Rs 6 crore. His wife, sons, daughter-in-law and their companies together are worth over Rs 260 crore.

Others such as heavy industry minister Praful Patel have seen a more modest rise of 25% - from around Rs 30 crore in 2009 to Rs 40 crore now.

Then, there are the likes of agriculture minister Sharad Pawar, whose asset value (including his wife's and Hindu Undivided Family) have climbed around 43% to about Rs 12.5 crore from Rs 8.7 crore in 2009.

Several ministers, including the PM and finance minister Pranab Mukherjee, have not disclosed the holdings of their wives. Mukherjee's assets have shrunk 20 times from Rs 2.46 crore in 2009 (according to ADR) to Rs 12.56 lakh now.

The declarations are being made at a politically significant time when the government is facing public anger following endless charges of corruption. Yet, the data tried to conceal more than they revealed.

Cautious ministers gave the purchase price of their property, not their current valuation and also played down the worth of their vehicles. A few avoided publishing the value of their property.

For instance, Patel has put the value of his share in two plots of land in central Mumbai's Worli at Rs 6 lakh, when it is tough to find even a shack at that price in the Maximum City. There are only a handful, such as the PM and finance minister Mukherjee, who have disclosed the market value of their properties. But if Singh were to put his Vasant Kunj apartment, worth Rs 88.77 lakh according to him, on sale there would be a long queue of buyers waiting to strike a bargain.

Many ministers shared their possessions with their spouses and it brought down their net personal worth. For example, in one or two cases, the more expensive car was owned by the wife and not the minister-husband.

Chemicals and fertilizer minister MK Alagiri has a liking for realty. Between him and his wife, they have disclosed the ownership of 24 properties - bulk of it land around Madurai, his constituency. The 13 properties in the minister's name are worth Rs 4.20 crore. His wife's holdings, the declaration says, was of the order of Rs 12.58 crore.

HRD and communications minister Kapil Sibal - who is worth over Rs 30 crore - too seems to have a liking for real estate. His holdings are valued around Rs 22 crore. In fact, the former lawyer's property interests span from Hubli and Secunderbad in the south to Patna in the east.

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