Sitharaman's asset list: A scooter, a house, PPF

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman reported total assets valued at Rs 2.53 crore in 2022, consisting of immovable property worth Rs 1.87 crore and movable property totaling Rs 65.55 lakh, as per her assets and liabilities declaration as a Rajya Sabha member. However, she also disclosed liabilities amounting to Rs 26.91 lakh. It’s likely that these figures have undergone changes over the past couple of years due to her investments or loan repayments. Interestingly, Sitharaman recently mentioned during a media event that she opted out of contesting in the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections due to a lack of sufficient funds required for campaigning.

Sitharaman’s primary asset is a residential property in Manchirevula near Hyderabad, co-owned with her husband Dr. Parakala Prabhakar. A comparison between her publicly declared assets in 2016 and 2022 shows that the valuation of this property went up from Rs 99.36 lakh in 2016 to Rs 1.7 crore in 2022. Additionally, she possesses non-agricultural land in Kuntloor valued at Rs 17.08 lakh, which was previously assessed at Rs 16.02 lakh in 2016.

In both the 2016 and 2022 declarations, Sitharaman listed ownership of a Bajaj Chetak scooter, which she purchased for Rs 28,200. Notably, she did not declare ownership of a car. In 2016, she disclosed ownership of 315 grams of gold valued at Rs 7.87 lakh at the time. Although the quantity of gold remained unchanged in the 2022 declaration, its value almost doubled to Rs 14.49 lakh due to an increase in gold prices. Assuming there has been no change in her gold investments, the gold she owns is now valued between Rs 19.4 lakh and Rs 21.18 lakh, depending on whether it’s 22-carat or 24-carat.

Between 2016 and 2022, the Finance Minister increased her investment in silver from 2 kg to 5.282 kg, more than doubling it. She paid approximately Rs 2.60 lakh for the additional 3.282 kg of silver, as indicated in her 2022 asset declaration. In total, her silver holdings were valued at Rs 3.98 lakh in 2022. These metals are categorized as ‘Sthridhan/Gift/Purchase’ in the declaration. Her bank deposits saw a significant rise from over Rs 6.77 lakh in 2016 to over Rs 35.52 lakh in 2022. Additionally, she now holds a PPF account, which she didn’t have in 2016, with investments of around Rs 1.6 lakh. Notably, no investment has been mentioned in insurance, including in LIC.

As per the declarations, Sitharaman has diversified her investments into mutual funds, allocating slightly over Rs 5.80 lakh. As of her 2022 declaration, she held a modest sum of Rs 7,350 in cash. Additionally, she mentioned a couple of other assets as ‘Personal Loan Given’ valued at Rs 2.7 lakh and ‘other receivables’ totaling Rs 5.08 lakh.

Sitharaman and her husband have been repaying a number of loans, the declarations showed. Their home loan, originally with Syndicate Bank but transferred to Canara Bank after the merger in 2020, was initially Rs 7.02 lakh in 2016 and decreased to Rs 5.44 lakh by 2022. Additionally, an ‘Overdraft’ amounting to Rs 5.03 lakh in 2016 decreased to Rs 2.53 lakh by 2022. The largest liability is a 10-year mortgage loan, which was Rs 19.05 lakh in 2016 and decreased slightly to Rs 18.93 lakh in 2022. All these loans are 50:50 joint loans.

Roy Walsh

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