Saturday, September 11, 2010

Believe it! Ministers have aam admi assets! சொத்துக் குவிக்கும் அமைச்சர்களும் சொத்தை (அப்பாவி அல்லது நல்ல ) அமைச்சர்களும்!


                                      RTI activist Subhash Chandra Aggarwal 

இந்த நாட்டில் அமைச்சராய் இருந்தாலும் நீதிபதியாய் இருந்தாலும் அவர்கள் தங்கள் சொத்துக்களைப் பற்றிய தகவல் அளித்து ஒளிவு மறைவற்ற போது வாழ்வு மேற்கொள்ள வேண்டும் என்ற கருத்துடையவர் திரு.சுபாஷ் சந்திரா அவர்கள். (பெயரிலேயே சுபாஷ் சந்திர போஸ்; சபாஷ்!) 'தகவலறியும் உரிமைச் சட்டத்தின்' (RTI)  கீழ் அவர் நீதி மன்றத்தில் நடத்திய  நீண்ட போராட்டத்தால் தற்போது கொஞ்சம் வெளிவந்துள்ளது அமைச்சர்களின் சொத்து விவரங்கள். இந்த விவரங்கள்  கூட உண்மையா பொய்யா என்பது அந்த ஆண்டவனுக்கே வெளிச்சம்! 

மேலே காண்பது  திரு.சுபாஷ் அகர்வாலின் பேட்டி: _____________________________________________________________
NEW DELHI: The Union Council of Ministers has finally made a disclosure of individual assets, and if the information provided is taken at face value, we have a truly aam admi Cabinet with a few exceptions.
(The disclosure comes after over a year of sarkari stonewalling on an RTI application filed by activist Subhash Chandra Agrawal. He had started his first battle by filing a plea in Nov 2009 on supreme court judges to reveal their assets under RTI act.)
Commerce minister Anand Sharma, for instance, may be spending his official day looking at figures in billion of dollars, but his personal wealth is a paltry Rs 26,741. Likewise for food processing minister Subodh Kant Sahai, who has assets of Rs 1.4 lakh, urban development minister S Jaipal Reddy with assets of just Rs 3.3 lakh and social justice minister Mukul Wasnik who also owns only Rs 3.3 lakh.

Even Farooq Abdullah, the renewable energy minister, who shuttles between Delhi, Srinagar and London and is reputed for his flamboyant lifestyle, can lay claim to assets of barely Rs 6.5 lakh, while our cotton-sari clad railway minister, Mamata Banerjee, is worth more at Rs 6.7 lakh, which includes 10 grams of gold.

     Of course, not everybody is quite as aam as this, but even high-profile leaders like Sharad Pawar claim to own just Rs 3.9 crore, while telecom minister  A.Raja has assets worth Rs.73.9 Lakh

Then there are those who are, as it were, the royalty of the group, some literally, others not so. Palaces, farm land across the country, shares and stocks are the stuff their assets are made of.

On top of this heap is civil aviation minister Praful Patel with Rs 33 crore, followed by Jyotiraditya Scindia and Kapil Sibal with assets upwards of Rs 20 crore. Incidentally, this does not include the properties and income of their wives and dependents.

Many in this not-so-aam list have invested heavily in property. While Patel has several properties in Worli, Scindia owns ancestral property like Shanti Mahal and Rani Mahal in Gwalior. Chemicals minister M K Alagiri whose net worth comes to about Rs 9 crore has plots in Madurai.

Defence Minister A K Antony and Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee have total assets of nearly Rs one lakh and Rs six lakh respectively.

 Antony, a Rajya Sabha member, neither has any property in his name nor does he own any vehicle. In his name, there are two bank accounts with State Bank of India which have Rs 1.01 lakh and Rs 16,919 as of June 15, 2009.

 The asset details furnished by A.K. Antony Defense minister show that the three-time Kerala Chief Minister does not have any liabilities. His wife Elizabeth Antony had a house worth Rs 15 lakh and five cents of land worth Rs 15 lakh. She also has Rs 3.19 lakh in her name in three bank accounts.

 His colleague Mamata Banerjee also lives a modest lifestyle. She neither owns any vehicle nor any house or residential buildings in her name.

 'Didi', as she is known as among her followers, has 10 grams of gold jewellery worth Rs 15,000. The firebrand leader has just one dependent -- her mother -- who holds no separate assets, the asset details show.

The disclosure comes after over a year of sarkari stonewalling on an RTI application filed by activist Subhash Chandra Agrawal. The PMO on Thursday dropped its stand against making public ministers' assets and liabilities giving over 400 pages of complete details filed by the elected representatives.

Ministers are expected to file detailed list of assets and liabilities, their business interests and that of their family within 3 months of taking oath. Agrawal had sought these details citing public interest but the PMO denied disclosure claiming that the information was exempted under "fiduciary relationship."

The Central Information Commission had finally directed the PMO to take permission from both Houses of Parliament before making the information public. Parliament was of the opinion that no permission was required for disclosure forcing the Union Cabinet this week to adopt a resolution that the assets would be made public.

Subhash Chandra Agrawal features in the Guinness Book of World Records for most letters to editors. Subhash Chandra Agarwal is a prominent Right to Information (RTI) activist, who regularly takes up issues of national interest through his numerous petitions filed under the RTI Act

-மோகன் பாலகிருஷ்ணா 

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