Wealth of Cabinet Ministers grows into crores: Has ‘achche din’ arrived only for Team Modi?

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Acche din (good days) as promised by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during Lok Sabha election might not have arrived for the aam aadmi (common man) but these good days are surely here for his Cabinet members. Yes, within five months of assuming the office, the personal wealth of many Ministers in Modi's Cabinet has grown to crores.

According to an analysis by Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) and National Election Watch (NEW), nearly 41 of 44 members in Modi's Cabinet team have become crorepatis while in previous UPA Government's regime the number was 47 of the 79 Ministers.

The ADR and NEW have analyzed the declarations of all 45 Union Council of Ministers, including the Prime Minister and compared it with the assets declared by them in their election affidavit for the Lok Sabha poll. Of the 45 Ministers in Modi's Cabinet, 37 had contested the Lok Sabha polls 2014 and eight are members of the Rajya Sabha.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley is richest in Modi's team

As per the analysis, Jaitley with assets totalling to Rs 114.03 crore is the richest Minister in Modi's Cabinet. Jaitley, who is Cabinet Minister for Finance, Corporate Affairs and Defence, has showed an increase of Rs 1.01 crores (from Rs 113.02 crores in Lok Sabha 2014 to Rs 114.03 crores in the 2014 disclosure to the PMO).

Jaitley is followed by Harsimrat Kaur Badal at Rs 108.31 crores and Piyush Goyal at Rs 94.66 crores.

The lowest assets have been declared by Sudarshan Bhagat (Rs 59.13 lakhs) followed by Mansukhbhai Dhanjibhai Vasava (Rs 65.71 lakhs).

Highest increase in assets of Railway Minister Gowda

Railways Minister DV Sadananda Gowda's assets have shown an increase of Rs 10.46 crore since he became the Minister. Value of his wealth has grown from Rs 9.88 crore to Rs 20.35 crore.

"His assets have shown an increase of Rs 10.46 crores, from Rs 9.88 crores as declared in Lok Sabha 2014 elections to Rs 20.35 crores in the 2014 declarations of the Union Council of Ministers to the Prime Minister's Office," the assessment said.

The Railways Minister is followed by Minister of State, Independent Charge, Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises, Radhakrishnan P who has shown an increase of Rs 2.98 crores (from Rs 4.09 crores before the Lok Sabha poll to Rs 7.07 crores)

Meanwhile, Railway Minister has denied reports that he amassed public money after assuming charge as a Union Minister.

Denying the claims that his wealth increased by Rs 10.46 crore in last five months, he said that he had initiated the process of purchasing a commercial building in Bangalore before the Lok Sabha elections and the property was registered only after the elections.

Hence, there was a difference in the total value of assets mentioned in the affidavit filed before the Election Commission prior to elections, and the recent disclosure of assets to the Prime Minister's Office.

16 Ministers have shown a decrease in assets

16 Ministers have shown a decrease in assets. "External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj showed a decrease of Rs 3.89 crores (from Rs 17.55 crores declared in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections). Sushma is followed by Minister of State for Development of North Eastern Region VK Singh who declared a decrease of Rs.3.13 crores (from Rs 4.11 crores declared in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections).

Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan has declared a decrease of Rs 1.28 crores," the analysis said. The value of his assets has decreased from 2.82 crores declared in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections to Rs 1.54 crores declared in the 2014 disclosure to the PMO.

The average assets of Ministers according to their declarations on the PMO website are Rs 14.32 crores.

The declaration of assets by the Ministers have been made according to the Code of Conduct issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs.

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