BANGALORE: The assets of members of the Siddaramaiah ministry has nearly doubled in five years. Analysis of the assets declared by 31 of the 33 ministers while filing their nomination for the May 12 Assembly poll showed that their average income had increased from Rs.36.76 crores in 2013 to Rs.70.42 crores in 2018, marking a 91.6 percent increase.
Two ministers – M R Seetharam and R B Timmapur, who are members of the Karnataka Legislative Council-are not contesting the election. The total assets declared by the rest of the ministers is worth Rs.2253.66 crores. Their assets in 2013 were Rs.1176.42 crores, according to a report of the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR).
Energy Minister D Shivakumar, who was the richest minister in 2013, has maintained his top position with total assets worth Rs.730 crores. The assets he declared at the time of filing the nomination during the 2013 polls was worth Rs.252.6 crores. The analysis shows 199.9 percent increase in the last five years.
However, the minister who recorded the largest increase in the asset during the last five years is Basavraj Rayreddi, who held the portfolio of Higher Education. His asset shot up from Rs. 8.41 crores in 2013 to Rs.31.57 crores in 2018. This marked an increase of 275.4 percent.
The second richest minister in the Siddaramiah cabinet is Housing Minister M Krishnappa, who has declared an income of Rs.236.67 crores. His asset in 2013 was worth Rs.147.42 crores. In percentage wise, the increase was 60.75.
The minister with the third highest asset is Labour Minister Santhosh Lad. He has found the place in the super rich category with total assets worth Rs.188.74 crore. However, Santhosh Lad has recorded the second lowest increase of 1.3 percent among ministers compared to 2013, when his declared assets stood at Rs.186.39 crores.
The minister with the lowest increase in asset is Medical Education and Health Minister Dr Sharanprakash Rudrappa Patil. His asset increased only by 1.1 percent from Rs.3.77 crores to Rs.3.81 crores.
Sharanprakash is among four ministers with assets less than Rs.5 crores. The others are Public Works Minister Dr H C Mahadevappa, Revenue Minister Kagodu Thimmappa and Food and Civil Supplies Minister U T Khader.
There is one minister in the cabinet, who has recorded a negative growth in his assets in the last five years. He is Youth Services and Fisheries Minister Pramod Madhavraj. His assets dropped from Rs.104.9 crores in 2013 to Rs.86.14 crores, according to the nomination he filed in the Udupi constituency. The decline is 17.9 percent.
There are seven ministers with assets worth more than Rs.100 crores, 10 with assets ranging from Rs.10 crores to 100 crores and eight ministers with declared assets between Rs.5 crores and Rs.10 crores.
The ministers in the first category include Bangalore City Development Minister K J George (80.06 crore), Home Minister Ramalinga Reddy (66.59), City Corporations Minister Roshan M Baig (36.21)and Chief Minister Siddaramaiah (20.46). The chief minister recorded a 51.4 percent increase in assets during his term, while Reddy 85.3 percent, George 153.8 percent and Roshan Baig 83.8 percent.
While people with high income have substantially high liabilities, it is very less in the case of the ministers. While 20 ministers reported no liability at all, four ministers had liability below Rs.5 crores compared to their assets.
The minister with the highest liability is Shivakumar. He has recorded a liability of Rs.227.47 crores. However, this represents only 31.05 percent of his total assets. The minister with the highest liability in terms of percentage is Santhosh Baig. His liability was 47.5 per cent of his total asset.
The second is Cooperation Minister Jaarkiholi Ramesh Laxmanrao, whose liability stood at 32.7 percent. The asset declared by him is Rs.122.77 crores and liability Rs.40.12 crore.
The current assets suggest that the Congress ministry in Karnataka may be one of the richest ministries in the country. A 2016 ADR study showed that four members of the Siddaramaiah ministry were among the country’s ten richest ministers.
While Andhra Pradesh minister Ponguru Narayana topped the ministers with assets worth Rs. 441 crores, Shivakumar came second with an asset of Rs.251 crores. Santosh Lad came third with assets worth Rs 186 crore in 2016.
Planning minister M R Seetharam, who is not contesting the election this time, ranked sixth in India with assets worth Rs.136 crore and youth affairs and sports minister Pramod Madhwaraj was in 10th place with Rs.105 crore as per the data available in 2016.