Business Standard
BS Reporter
New Delhi

Citizens group finally gets hold of Rajya Sabha members’ personal declarations of wealth.

Of the 232 elected Rajya Sabha members, 92 have financial interests and the other 140 don’t, says a report released by National Election Watch (NEW), a citizens’ coalition which scrutinises the poll process and related issues.

NEW did so by analysing the Register of Interest of the Rajya Sabha members. Another 10 members did not declare their assets’ information.

Rajya Sabha MPs have to declare their pecuniary interest under Rule 293 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business. However, the Rajya Sabha secretariat had been denying this information, on instructions from the House’s ethics committee. It was finally released after the Central Information Commission, the appellate authority for the national Right to Information Act, ordered it. Of the 232 MPs, the one with the highest annual income was the Congress’ Abhishek Manu Singhvi (Rs 50 crore), followed by UB Group chairman Vijay Mallya (Rs 41.3 crore) and the Bharatiya Janata Party’s Arun Jaitley (Rs 10 crore).

Of the total, 28 MPs have declared one or more remunerative directorship in various companies. Vijay Mallya received the highest amount, of Rs 39.45 crore, followed by the Shiromani Akali Dal’s Naresh Gujral (Rs 4.54 crore) and Vijay Darda, chairman and managing director of the Lokmat group of publications (also Rs 4.54 crore). Mallya also has the highest number of directorships, of 19 companies, followed by the Nationalist Congress Party’s Y P Trivedi (11) and Gujral (4).

A total of 28 MPs have declared having one or more regularly remunerated activity. The highest amount received on this head has been declared by Shobhana Bhartia (Rs 2.67 crore), Mallya (Rs 1.85 crore) and the Telugu Desam’s Satyanarayana Chowdry (Rs 1.68 crore).

Eight MPs have said they undertake paid consultancy. The highest amount received from this was declared by an independent MP from Jharkhand, Parimal Nathwani (Rs 1.29 crore), Amar Singh (Rs 54 lalk) and the BJP’s Ravi Shankar Prasad (Rs 37.73 lakh). And, 43 MPs have declared to having professional engagements, with the highest amount declared by the Congress’ Abhishek Singhvi (Rs 50 crore), BJP’s Jaitley (Rs 10 crore) and BJP’s Ram Jethmalani (Rs 8.41 crore).

Of the 140 MPs who say they have no pecuniary interests, many have declared high assets in their declarations to the Election Commission of India. The top three such MPs are the Congress’s Subbarami Reddy (Rs 258.25 crore), followed by Congress’ Karan Singh (Rs 57.89 crore) and the Shiv Sena’s Rajkumar Dhoot (Rs 29.53 crore).

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