Among the seven Union cabinet ministers who have declared their annual assets, at least two are gun lovers.
Statistics minister Sadananda Gowda has spent Rs 63,500 on a revolver and a gun — exactly 10 times of what he has invested in shares. Social justice minister Thawar Chand Gehlot too has a licensed gun valued at Rs 41,000. He also has a four-wheeler and two two-wheelers. But his entire fleet of vehicles costs less than what Gowda owns: a Rs 64-lakh landcruiser.
To maintain transparency in public life, ministers submit their annual statement of assets and liabilities and those of their spouse and dependent children to the Prime Minister’s Office for public consumption.
Finance minister Arun Jaitley was the first to submit his financial details. Recently, six more cabinet ministers — Sushma Swaraj, Venkaiah Naidu, Prakash Javadekar, Ram Vilas Paswan, Gehlot and Gowda — declared their assets.
The statements show that none of the ministers have purchased any new land or house. They have also not made any investment in the share market but most of them chose to park their money in fixed deposits or in savings accounts in banks. Foreign minister Sushma Swaraj has even withdrawn her investments to deposit them in banks. Urban development minister Naidu does not have any land, house or jewellery. He, along with Gowda and Gehlot, has given loans to their spouses.
Gowda’s statement also suggests that he has not bought a new fridge since 1994 and a television set since 1993. Although his total assets are over Rs 17 crore, he uses a handset that costs Rs 3,500.
Swaraj, Paswan and Javadekar’s annual income has increased marginally, while Naidu, Gowda and Gehlot’s value of assets has gone southwards.
Earlier, finance minister Arun Jaitley’s declaration showed his assets had gone down by more than Rs 6 crore.