news Monday, May 18, 2015 - 05:30
Social media may be abuzz with jokes of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s foreign trips. But it has definitely helped the Ministry of External Affairs fill its Toshakhana or treasure trove with at least 300 foreign gifts. According to a report in The New Indian Express, of these at least 110 gifts were received between January and March, the last quarter for which data is available. It was during this quarter that Modi received his most expensive gift, a gold-diamond cufflink worth Rs 75,000, which was deposited in the Toshakhana on February 19. The value of these gifts are assessed after they are listed with the Toshakhana and if they are less than Rs 4,000, the recipients can take them back. But if they are more expensive then the recipient has to pay the difference amount to take the gift back. From the time he was sworn in as Prime Minister till March this year, Modi has received 67 gifts including a garland with a rhino horn and a piece of rail track. The External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj has received far more gifts- listing at least 120 gifts with the ministry’s depository. Among her most expensive gifts are a jewellery set costing Rs 40,000, a gold saree pin worth Rs 14,595 and a Rs 9,000 LG tablet. She received the maximum gifts in the July to September quarter with 44 items, of which 11 were sarees. The bureaucrats are not left far behind when it comes to receiving gifts. Foreign Secretary Jaishankar has received 13 gifts; Home Secretary L C Goyal got three gifts and even NSA Ajit Doval received a tea-set costing Rs 4,500. There have been new entrants in the list during the January to March quarter, one among them being Sonia Gandhi who received two desktop watches embedded in a crystal glass cover. Check out the entire list of the gifts received by the government on the MEA website. Read more at: Centre's Gift Chest Swells with 300 Foreign Items  
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