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HindustanTimes Mon,14 Jul 2014

Montek's preferred mutual funds as a choice of investment

Chetan Chauhan, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, December 13, 2012
First Published: 19:57 IST(13/12/2012) | Last Updated: 19:58 IST(13/12/2012)

Like many Indians, Planning Commission deputy chairperson Montek Singh Ahluwalia has opted for a safer route - mutual funds - to invest in Indian stock market and has good savings in his five bank accounts, including one in United States.

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In his annual statement of assets and liabilities submitted to Prime Minister's Office and in public domain through Right To Information Act for the first time, shows that Ahluwalia and his wife Isher Ahluwalia had invested Rs. 3.92 crore in mutual funds, including Rs. 58.49 lakh in Fidelity Investment in United States. The remaining Rs. 3.33 crore is in Indian mutual funds.

Mutual funds are considered safer and less vulnerable to fluctuations of the stock market than investments in shares of the companies. The economist couple has not invested in stocks of any company, the statement shows. It does not provide details in which mutual funds the couple have invested.

Ahluwalia, who receives monthly enumeration of Rs. 1.12 lakh per month from Planning Commission, also has savings worth Rs. 1.43 crore in his five bank accounts.

This includes Rs. 66.73 lakh in Washington based Bank-Fund Federal Credit Union, where his pension from World Bank is credited.

The website of the bank says only those working or pensioners with leading organizations such as World Bank and International Monetary Fund can have an account.

The economist couple owns a house in Greater Kailash and a plot in Noida. They also spent Rs. 30 lakh on constructing a flat on single storey house owned by Ahluwalia's mother.

The annual asset and liability statement of all Central government ministries is on the website of the Prime Minister's Office but those having rank equivalent to a minister like Ahluwalia is not in public domain.

Ahluwalia, who has been plan panel's deputy chairperson for eight years has steered second phase of economic reforms and played an important role in pursuing several reforms such as use of technology in delivery of government services and opening up of infrastructure sector for private players.


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