No country for risk-taking netas; politicians prefer FDs

    Maulik Tewari
    BL Research Bureau
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But the aam aadmi is being pushed to instruments like stocks and mutual funds

The government has been pushing the janata to take risks and invest in equity and mutual fund instruments, away from the traditional bank fixed deposit. But this has not cut much ice with the neta.

The only financial asset that seems to find favour with most politicians is bank and other deposits, if the affidavits filed by candidates contesting the 2014 Lok Sabha elections are anything to go by.

Fixed deposit is where leaders like LK Advani, Mulayam Singh Yadav, RK Anand and Veerappa Moily have chosen to park over 95 per cent of their financial wealth. While Veerappa Moily holds deposits worth ₹36 lakh, RK Anand leads the pack with ₹7 crore.

Others including Ashutosh and Gul Panag from the Aam Aadmi Party, Karti Chidambaram, Sushma Swaraj, and Farooq Abdullah have parked a substantial, 72-93 per cent, portion of their money in deposits. In contrast, the janata holds only 56 per cent of its money in deposits.

Kapil Sibal and Ashutosh are among the few risk-taking netas, who have put a significant one-half and one-fourth of their financial savings directly into stocks. The two hold shares worth ₹5.6 crore and ₹6.8 lakh respectively.

Retail investors park about 2 per cent of their financial savings in mutual funds, but the majority of netas do not seem to have discovered this investment avenue, yet. The exceptions are Sonia Gandhi and Jyotiraditya Scindia, with investments of ₹82 lakh and ₹67 lakh in mutual funds making up a third to a little less than half of their financial assets.

No cash please

The RBI data on household savings show that ordinary savers like to hold about 10 per cent of their financial savings in cash for the rainy day. But politicians hardly hold any cash. Most have less than 2 per cent of their financial savings in cash.

Beyond fixed deposits, netas hold their financial wealth in bonds and debentures. BJP leader Uma Bharti, however, is the exception, holding ₹2.50 lakh, or over 52 per cent of her financial savings, in cash.

Small savings such as postal deposits and provident funds have in recent times accounted for 14 per cent of the savers’ financial assets. But politicians probably don’t like to visit the post office all that often.

Small isn’t beautiful

Except for some — Sonia Gandhi, Yogendra Yaadav and Gul Panag — most have given these instruments the go-by. Twenty-one per cent of Sonia Gandhi’s financial savings totalling ₹45 lakh is in Public Provident Fund and National Savings Scheme.

No cover

Insurance is a must-have for the janata, with people parking 16 per cent of their savings in policies last year. But netas, both young and old, don’t seem to be great believers in insurance with most disclosing no policies at all. Political heavyweights such as LK Advani, Nitin Gadkari, Jyotiraditya Scindia, Sonia Gandhi, Yogendra Yadav and Rahul Gandhi have no insurance cover.

Debutantes Rakhi Sawant and Gul Panag were the exceptions here, the former holding insurance policies valued at ₹1.6 crore and the latter owning a ₹7-lakh policy.

(This article was published on April 13, 2014)
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Union Budget 2014-15 Highlights

  • Following are the highlights of the Union Budget 2014-15 presented by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in Parliament on July 10, 2014
  • Income-tax exemption limit raised by Rs 50,000 to Rs 2.5 lakh and for senior citizens to Rs 3 lakh
  • Exemption limit for investment in financial instruments under 80C raised to Rs 1.5 lakh from Rs 1 lakh.
  • Investment limit in PPF raised to Rs 1.5 lakh from Rs 1 lakh
  • Deduction limit on interest on loan for self-occupied house raised to Rs 2 lakh from Rs 1.5 lakh.
  • Committee to look into all fresh tax demands for indirect transfer of assets in wake of retrospective tax amendments of 2012
  • Fiscal deficit target retained at 4.1% of GDP for current fiscal and 3.6% in FY 16
  • Rs 150 crore allocated for increasing safety of women in large cities
  • LCD, LED TV become cheaper
  • Cigarettes, pan masala, tobacco, aerated drinks become costlier
  • 5 IIMs to be opened in HP, Punjab, Bihar, Odisha and Rajasthan
  • 5 more IITs in Jammu, Chhattisgarh, Goa, Andhra Pradesh and Kerala.
  • 4 more AIIMS like institutions to come up in AP, West Bengal, Vidarbha in Maharashtra and Poorvanchal in UP
  • Govt proposes to launch Digital India’ programme to ensure broad band connectivity at village level
  • National Rural Internet and Technology Mission for services in villages and schools, training in IT skills proposed
  • Rs 100 cr scheme to support about 600 new and existing Community Radio Stations
  • Rs 100 cr for metro projects in Lucknow and Ahmedabad
  • Govt expects Rs 9.77 lakh crore revenue crore from taxes
  • Govt’s plan expenditure pegged at Rs 5.75 lakh crore and non-Plan at Rs 12.19 lakh crore.
  • Rs 2,037 crore set aside for Integrated Ganga Conservation Mission called ‘Namami Gange’
  • Kisan Vikas Patra to be reintroduced, National Savings Certificate with insurance cover to be launched
  • FDI limit to be hiked to 49% pc in defence, insurance
  • Disinvestment target fixed at Rs 58,425 crore
  • Gross borrowings pegged at Rs 6 lakh crore
  • Contours of GST to be finalised this fiscal; Govt to look into DTC proposal.
  • ‘Pandit Madan Mohan Malviya New Teachers Training Programme’ launched with initial sum of Rs 500 crore
  • Govt provides Rs 500 crore for rehabilitation of displaced Kashmiri migrants
  • Set aside Rs 11,200 crore for PSU banks capitalisation
  • Govt in favour of consolidation of PSU banks
  • Govt considering giving greater autonomy to PSU banks while making them accountable
  • Rs 7,060 crore for setting up 100 Smart Cities
  • A project on the river Ganga called ‘Jal Marg Vikas’ for inland waterways between Allahabad and Haldia; Rs 4,200 crore set aside for the purpose.
  • Govt proposes Ultra Modern Super Critical Coal Based Thermal Power Technology
  • Expenditure management commission to be setup; will look into food and fertilizer subsides
  • Impasse in coal sector will be resolved; coal will be provided to power plants already commissioned or to be commissioned by March 2015
  • Long term capial gains tax for mutual funds doubled to 20%; lock-in period increased to 3 years
  • Rs 4,000 cr set aside to increase flow of cheaper credit for affordable housing to the urban poor/EWS/LIG segment.
  • EPFO to launch the ‘Uniform Account Number’ service to facilitate portability of Provident Fund accounts
  • Mandatory wage ceiling of subscription to EPS (Employee Pension Scheme) raised from Rs 6,500 to Rs 15,000
  • Minimum pension increased to Rs 1,000 per month
  • Union Budget 2014: List of products getting cheaper/ costlier

  • Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today spared the common man from price hikes by keeping duties on commonly used day-to-day items unchanged but made it costlier for smokers and tobacco consumers with a steep increase in excise rate in tax proposals in Budget 2014—15.
  • Following is a list of what will be cheaper and costlier:
  • CRT television
  • LED/LCD TVs especially below 19 inch
  • Footwear priced between Rs 500 to Rs 1,000 per pair
  • Soaps
  • E—book readers
  • Desktop, laptops and tablets
  • RO based water purifiers
  • LED Lights, fixtures and lamps
  • Pre forms of precious and semi—precious stones
  • Sports Gloves
  • Branded petrol
  • Matchbox
  • Life micro insurance policies
  • HIV/AIDS drugs and diagnostic kits
  • DDT insecticides
  • Cigarettes
  • Aerated drinks with sugar
  • Pan masala
  • Gutka and chewing tobacco
  • Jarda scented tobacco
  • Radio Taxi
  • Imported electronic products
  • Portable X—ray machines
  • Half cut/broken diamonds.


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