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PM Modi saves a large chunk of his salary and relies on term deposits

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The movable assets of Prime Minister Narendra Modi have increased by Rs 36.53 lakh over the past 15 months and, like most Indians, he saves most of his money in savings accounts and term deposits with banks, according to its latest declaration of assets and liabilities.

The movable assets of PM Modi increased by 26.26% to Rs 1,75,63,618 against Rs 1,39,10,260 in the previous year. The Prime Minister’s latest voluntary disclosure, released on October 12, shows his financial situation as of June 30.

Much of the increase would appear to be due to the prime minister saving most of his salary – a fact known in government circles – and reinvesting interest on his fixed deposits.

There is hardly any change in his real estate. The PM has listed a piece of land and a house in Gandhinagar worth Rs 1.1 crore. He is co-owner with his family.

The disclosure shows the 70-year-old prime minister has moved away from the stock market. His favorite tax saving tools are life insurance, National Savings Certificates (NSCs), and infrastructure bonds. The statement of assets and liabilities also shows that he has invested more in CSNs and that his insurance premium has fallen.

Modi, who receives a monthly salary of Rs 2 lakh (low by global standards), along with the president, vice president, cabinet colleagues and members of parliament, agreed to a 30% pay cut and compensation from April at a cost-cutting exercise made necessary by the Covid-19 pandemic.

His government of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) led by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) also announced an austerity campaign, suppressing the MPLADS’s Local Development Program (MPLADS) for two years and pumping money into stimulus and relief programs to revive an economy that shrank to a record 23.9% in the quarter ended June 30 from a year ago.

The Prime Minister’s savings account balance was Rs 3.38 lakh on June 30 versus Rs 4,143 on March 31, 2019. He had Rs 31,450 in cash at the end of June.

Its fixed deposit in the Gandhinagar branch of the State Bank of India rose to Rs 1,60,28,039 as of June 30, 2020, compared to Rs 1,27,81,574 in the last fiscal year.

These figures are consistent with those in his affidavit filed ahead of Lok Sabha’s election last year which indicated movable assets of Rs 1.41 crore, including Rs 1.27 crore in deposits.

The Prime Minister has no responsibility and does not own a car. He has four gold rings. He saves taxes with national savings certificates of Rs 8,43,124 and paid a premium of Rs 1,50,957 for his life insurance.

In fiscal year 19-20, the Prime Minister had Rs 7.61,646 in national savings certificates and paid Rs 1,90,347 in life insurance premiums.

The infrastructure bond he bought in January 2012 for 20,000 rupees has not yet matured.

Public disclosure of the assets and liabilities of the union council of ministers was introduced in 2004 by the government of Atal Bihari Vajpayee for greater transparency in public life.

MPs are also required to file a statement of their family income each year and provide an affidavit of assets and liabilities for filing election candidacy forms.

After the deployment of the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act of 2013, commonly known as the Lokpal Act, all civil servants are required to disclose their annual income.

Apart from the Prime Minister, all senior ministers including Home Secretary Amit Shah, Defense Minister Rajnath Singh, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, Minister of Finance Nirmala Sitharaman and Minister of Agriculture Narendra Singh Tomar, have filed their declarations of wealth. Shah and Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Puri were among the first to do so.

Some junior ministers, including Ramdas Athawale, Babul Supriyo and Pratap Chandra Sarangi, have yet to file their statements.

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