The Times of India
Himanshi Dhawan
New Delhi

Inflation and food prices are unlikely to affect their monthly household budget. At least 77% of the Union council of ministers are crorepatis, whose average asset value is pegged at Rs 10.3 crore - Rs 3 crore higher than their declaration two years ago.

Heavy industry minister Praful Patel (assets worth Rs 122 crore) tops the rich list, followed by MoS for I&B S Jagathrakshakan (Rs 70 crore) and urban development minister Kamal Nath (Rs 41 crore).

The data, analyzed by the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR), shows the highest asset increase has been for DMK's Jagathrakshakan, whose worth show a rise of Rs 64.5 crore in only two years (from Rs 5.9 crore in 2009 to Rs 70 crore in 2011). Patel is second in line, with an increase of Rs 42 crore (from Rs 79.8 crore in 2009 to Rs 122 crores in 2011), followed by Kamal Nath, whose assets rose by Rs 26 crore (from Rs 14 crore in 2009 to Rs 41 crore in 2011).

Jagathrakshakan also tops the list for the highest asset increase percentage wise. His assets have shot up by 1,092%. Congress's MoS (textiles) Panabaka Lakshmi is in second spot, with a growth of 828%. While, MoS (road transport and highways) Tusharbhai Chaudhary has recorded a 705% growth.

As many as 15 ministers have shown a dip in assets as compared to their declared wealth in 2009. Agatha Sangma, Prateek P Patil, Virbhadra Singh, RPN Singh, D Napoleon, Vincent Pala, Jitin Prasada, M Veerappa Moily, P Chidambaram, S Jaipal Reddy, Farooq Abdullah, Preneet Kaur, Jairam Ramesh, SM Krishna and GK Vasan are part of the diminishing assets' club.

ADR's Anil Bairwal said vital information like income tax returns, present market value of assets are missing in most of the declarations. "While it is laudable that the PMO is trying to set a meaningful precedence towards greater transparency, we recommend that declarations be made with all the details that are expected in the affidavits outlined by the Election Commission of India so that crucial information can be disclosed in public interest," he said.

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