Even as Prime Minister Narendra Modi is popular for his frequent foreign trips, his colleague and Union External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj has left him behind as far as getting foreign gifts is concerned.
The External Affairs Ministry has released a list of foreign gifts received by the PM, Swaraj, Vice-President Hamid Ansari and other officials. The list also includes the gifts received during January-March this year.
Hindi Daily Dainik Bhaskar reported that Swaraj received 29 gifts worth Rs 2.33 lakh, while the PM received 25 foreign gifts.
In the last three months alone Indian officials received 115 foreign gifts worth over Rs 10. 7 lakh, which was three times more than that received between January-March.
On Thursday, Swaraj tweeted: “I have deposited all the gifts in Government’s Toshakhana (treasury).”
I have deposited all the gifts in Government’s Toshakhana. https://t.co/BZw48h9QU6
— Sushma Swaraj (@SushmaSwaraj) July 7, 2016
According to the report, Union Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman was third on the list with 17 gifts, while Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar was at the fourth position with 17 gifts.
Sitharaman also has the record of receiving highest number of foreign gifts in a single day.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi received a tray worth Rs 15,000 and a bowl worth Rs 10, 000. He also received several books including one on Urdu poetry with English translation.
The costliest gift received by the PM was a watch worth Rs 18,000, while for Swaraj it was a silver utility box worth Rs 40,000.
According to the report, a Rolex watch worth Rs 1.5 lakh received by India’s ambassador to Russia PS Raghavan was the costliest foreign gift received by any Indian official, while the cheapest gift was a tissue paper box worth Rs 1,000 received by Sitharaman.
However, nine most interesting gifts were received by Vice-President Ansari which included ladies’ purse and dress material. He also received six rolls of boutique dress as well as a metal box worth Rs 40,000 and a cuff link worth Rs 2,000.
Among other officials, Sanjay Verma, Joint Secretary, External Affairs Ministry, received an I Phone 6S worth Rs 59,000 and secretary of the ministry Preeti Saran received a Note-5 phone worth Rs 57,000.