‘Home loan, Rs 5 lakh in mutual funds, Chetak scooter’: FM Sitharaman’s publicly declared assets

According to the declaration of assets and liabilities made by her as a Rajya Sabha member, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had total assets worth Rs 2.53 crore in 2022, which included immovable assets worth Rs 1.87 crore and movable assets worth Rs 65.55 lakh. However, FM also had liabilities of Rs 26.91 lakh. These numbers are likely to change depending on his investments or repayment of loans over the years. Interestingly, in a recent media event, FM Sitharaman said that she had stayed away from contesting the upcoming Lok Sabha elections because she did not have the required funds to contest the elections.

Sitharaman’s main property is a residential building in Manchirevula near Hyderabad in Telangana, which she jointly owns with her husband Dr Parakala Prabhakar. A comparison of his publicly declared assets in 2016 and 2022 shows that the valuation of assets has increased from Rs 99.36 lakh in 2016 to Rs 1.7 crore in 2022. He also owns non-agricultural land in Kuntalur worth Rs 17.08 lakh, which was estimated. Rs 16.02 lakh in 2016.

In both the announcements made in 2016 and 2022, Sitharaman has a Bajaj Chetak scooter purchased at a nominal price of Rs 28,200. There is no car in his asset declaration. In 2016, he announced that he owned 315 grams of gold, which was worth Rs 7.87 lakh at that time. The quantity of gold remained unchanged in the announcement of 2022, but considering the rise in gold prices, the value has almost doubled to Rs 14.49 lakh. If he has not reduced or increased his investment in gold, the price of 315 grams of gold will be Rs 19.4 lakh to Rs 21.18 lakh, depending on whether it is 22 carat or 24 carat gold.

Sitharaman was very bullish on silver during 2016-2022. During this period it more than doubled its investment in the metal from 2 kg to 5.282 kg. As per the asset declaration made in 2022, he had paid around Rs 2.60 lakh for an additional 3.282 kg of silver. Overall, he had silver worth Rs 3.98 lakh in 2022. In the declaration, the metals have been classified as ‘tree wealth/gifts’. /Purchase’. In bank deposits, this figure has increased from Rs 6.77 lakh in 2016 to over Rs 35.52 lakh in 2022. He also has a PPF account, which he did not have in 2016, where he has invested around Rs 1.6 lakh. He has not announced any investment in insurance including LIC.

Interestingly, like many people in urban India, Sitharaman diversified her investments into mutual funds, where she invested a little over Rs 5.80 lakh. If she is doing SIP then this figure would have increased in the last two years. At the time of the announcement in 2022, he had a nominal amount of Rs 7,350 in cash. He cited some other assets, including ‘personal loans given’ of Rs 2.7 lakh and ‘other receivables’ of Rs 5.08 lakh.

Like many other middle-class couples, FM Sitharaman and her husband are repaying a home loan, which was originally with Syndicate Bank but transferred to Canara after the merger of banks in 2020. The outstanding related to 19-year home loan was Rs 7.02 lakh in 2016 and will reduce to Rs 5.44 lakh in 2022. There is also an ‘over draft’ amount of Rs 5.03 lakh in 2016 which reduces to Rs 2.53 lakh in 2022. The largest liability is the 10-year mortgage loan which stood at Rs 19.05 lakh in 2016 and will reduce to Rs 18.93 lakh in 2022. All loans are joint loans with 50% share.

Earlier in the week, Sitharaman had said that she had turned down the BJP’s offer to contest the elections as she did not have ‘that kind of funds’ required to contest the Lok Sabha elections. He said that BJP President JP Nadda had given him the option of contesting the elections from Andhra Pradesh or Tamil Nadu.

“After thinking for a week or ten days, I went back to say, ‘Maybe not’. I don’t have that kind of money to contest elections. I also have a problem whether it is Andhra Pradesh or Tamil Nadu. It’s also going to be a question of various other winning criteria that they use… Are you from this community or are you from that religion? Are you from this community? I said no, I don’t think That I’m capable of doing that,” she said.

She said, “I am very grateful that they accepted my plea…that’s why I am not contesting the elections.”