Worth of moveable property nearly tripled from ₹54.55 cr. in 2016 to ₹162.15 cr. in 2021; immovable property grew by 64%
The declared cumulative worth of assets owned by the Tamil Nadu Cabinet Ministers and their spouses and dependent family members grew by 111% from ₹154.69 crore in 2016 to ₹326.47 crore in 2021, according to an analysis of the affidavits filed by them for the Assembly election.
The sharpest increase was in the worth of moveable assets, which nearly tripled, from ₹54.55 crore in 2016 to ₹162.15 crore in 2021. The worth of immovable assets grew by 64% from ₹100.14 crore to ₹164.32 crore.
The cumulative annual income grew by 80% from ₹13.43 crore to ₹24.2 crore, while the cumulative liabilities grew by 74% from ₹29.7 crore to ₹51.76 crore.
Sources of income
While a majority of the Ministers declared their salary for serving as MLAs and farming and rental income as sources of income, a few like C. Vijayabaskar, M.R. Vijayabhaskar and Sevvoor S. Ramachandran have declared businesses, too, as sources.
Minister for Commercial Taxes and Registration K.C. Veeramani declared the highest worth of assets, both in 2016 and 2021. His assets grew by 148% from ₹27.7 crore in 2016 to ₹68.7 crore in 2021.
While Mr. Vijayabaskar, Health and Family Welfare Minister, was in the fifth position in 2016 with total assets worth ₹9.08 crore, he has the second highest in 2021, with his assets increasing nearly seven fold to ₹61.5 crore.
While four Ministers — Kadambur Raju, D. Jayakumar, V.M. Rajalakshmi and R.B. Udhayakumar — had declared assets worth less than ₹1 crore in 2016, all of them are crorepatis, according to their 2021 affidavits.
Minister for Higher Education K.P. Anbalagan showed the highest growth in assets from ₹2.4 crore to ₹19.27 crore, nearly an eight-fold increase.
The only two persons to show a decline are Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami and Minister for Tamil Official Language and Tamil Culture ‘Ma Foi’ K. Pandiarajan.
While the decline in the Chief Minister’s assets from ₹7.8 crore to ₹6.7 crore could primarily be attributed to his mother, son and daughter-in-law missing as dependants in the 2021 affidavit, the decline in Mr. Pandiarajan’s assets is owing to the drop in his moveable assets.
A noticeable difference is the declaration of significant worth of assets under the Hindu Undivided Family accounts by more number of Ministers in 2021.
In the case of a few Ministers, the ratio of their annual income to their total assets is noticeably high. For instance, while Mr. Jayakumar has declared total assets worth ₹1.8 crore, his family’s income in 2021 is ₹1.2 crore, 66% of the assets.
The liabilities of Ministers largely involve bank loans. In some cases, they include borrowing from family members or other individuals.
The affidavits of a few Ministers have glaring tallying errors in their summary.
For instance, Mr. Veeramani’s affidavit appears mistakenly copied from his 2016 affidavit at many places. In such cases, The Hindu looked at the detailed list of assets in the affidavit to arrive at the total.
(Note: The analysis included 27 of the 30 Ministers in the Cabinet. Ministers Nilofer Kafeel, G. Baskaran and S. Valarmathi, who were denied renomination in the 2021 election, were excluded).