New Delhi

The format adopted by the government to declare assets of ministers is not correct and defeated the exercise towards transparency, the NGO Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) has said.

Several ministers in the cabinet have seen a dramatic increase in their assets in just five months which ADR has attributed to lack of a standardized format for asset declaration.

It said that in many cases they have either not given the value of their moveable and immoveable assets or not given the present market value, which led to discrepancies.

For instance, ministers including Jitendra Singh, Gen retd. VK SinghAnanth Kumar, and Sripad Naik have not given value for moveable assets to the PMO while Harsh Vardhan, Venkaiah Naidu and Sushma Swaraj have not given value for their immoveable assets.

ADR claimed that railway minister Sadananda Gowda's wealth increased by over Rs10.46 crore from Rs9.99 crore in May to Rs20.35 crore in October. Assets worth Rs10 crore had been acquired during the period.

However in response to reports, Gowda tweeted that the properties were bought earlier with a loan worth Rs8 crore from Federal Bank and Rs2 crore had been paid in advance.

He is followed by heavy industry MoS Radhakrishnan P who has seen an increase of Rs2.98 crore (from assets worth Rs.4.09 crore to Rs.7.07 crore) and finance minister Arun Jaitley whose wealth has increased by 1% from Rs113.02 crore to Rs114.03 crore.

Minister for social justice and empowerment Thaawar Chand Gehlot whose personal wealth increased by 323% in the last two years has seen the sharpest rise in a cabinet dominated by crorepatis.

He is followed by power and coal minister Piyush Goyal whose assets have increased by 212% since 2010. According to ADR analysis, the overwhelming majority of ministers (91%) that is 41 of the 45 ministers are crorepatis with average assets worth Rs14.32 crore.

Among the ministers who did not contest the Lok Sabha polls and whose personal wealth has risen sharply are Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Thaawar Chand Gehlot, whose assets increased by 323% in two years. According to the declaration he made to the Rajya Sabha in 2012, Gehlot's assets were Rs86.12 lakh which have shot up to Rs3.64 crore in October 2014.

Coal and Power Minister Piyush Goyal came in second with his assets increasing by 212% from Rs30.34 crore in 2010 (according to the affidavit submitted to the Rajya Sabha) to Rs64.31 crore.

MoS for Petroleum Dharmendra Pradhan's assets grew by 61% since 2012 from Rs1.54 crore to Rs2.48 crore. Communications and law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad's wealth rose by 27% in two years while urban development minister Venkaiah Naidu's assets grew by 28% in four years.

Among the members of the cabinet, railway minister DV Sadananda Gowda's assets have seen the highest increase in five months.

The assets of at least two other ministers have increased after they took office five months ago. However, 16 ministers have shown a decrease in assets.

Jaitely is the richest at Rs114.03 crore, followed by Harsimrat Kaur Badal at Rs108.31 crore and Piyush Goyal at Rs94.66 crore.

Assets of external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj have shown a decrease of Rs3.89 crore, from Rs17.55 crore declared in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.

The cause of changes in assets was largely due to the lack of any standardized format for ministers' asset declarations, the ADR said in a statement.

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