Gifts PM Modi kept for his personal use

The price tag of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s monogrammed suit should make a grossly inaccurate example for judging the value of gifts he and senior government functionaries receive from foreign dignitaries, some as low as Rs 500.

india Updated: Feb 19, 2015 00:35 IST
Jayanth Jacob
Jayanth Jacob
Hindustan Times

The price tag of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s monogrammed suit should make a grossly inaccurate example for judging the value of gifts he and senior government functionaries receive from foreign dignitaries, some as low as Rs 500.

An earthen bowl with a lid worth Rs 500, a wooden artefact of Rs 1,000, a ceramic bowl valued at Rs 1,500, a pair of cufflinks at Rs 1,600 and a Rs 2,000 tea set are some of the gifts he received from his hosts abroad and visiting dignitaries.

A list from the toshakhana, or the repository maintained by the foreign ministry, includes items such as a glass paperweight, a framed photo, a brass statue and a silver- proof Piedfort coin whose commercial value could not be fixed.

As a rule, such gifts are deposited in the toshakhana. If the value of a gift which is fixed by an appraiser on the rolls of the Central Board of Customs and Excise is less than Rs 5,000, the receiver does not have to pay for the item he or she wishes to keep. If the value is more, say Rs 6,000, the difference of Rs 1,000 has to be paid.

Toshakhana records show Modi received 30 gifts from September to December last year.

Of these, he kept 10 items — including two dinner sets worth Rs 10,000 and a carpet worth Rs 15,000.

He also kept without paying, in accordance with rules, items such as a tea set, a replica of a chaitya or Buddhist prayer hall, a memento with three pins and a painting.

His official address, 7 Race Course Road, adorns a hand-crafted silver box with a semi-precious stone valued at Rs 20,000.

Modi’s predecessor Manmohan Singh had reportedly chosen a Bose music system and a carpet — among other gift items from his two-term tenure — to carry to his new home after demitting office.

First Published: Feb 19, 2015 00:11 IST