Declaration of assets by government officials is an interesting and sometimes tricky process. We decided to find out how a group of senior Indian Foreign Service (IFS) bureaucrats valued apartments in the same New Delhi society they bought together, mostly in the late 80s. So IFS Apartments, Mayur Vihar, Phase I, New Delhi is the complex in question. IndiaSpend went through recent (January 2011) filings for immovable properties of these IFS officials and found interesting results. The examples are self explanatory with a few links as well.

Quite A GapThe list can go on. Now, this is information formally declared and in public domain. We don't know what's more worrying. That these officers think this is such a pointless exercise they wouldn't have time to establish (one/two phone calls) the value. Or the delibrate intent to conceal the real value because it might attract attention.

Incidentally, the market value for IFS apartments as per our reckoning is upwards of Rs 1 crore so Dr Bhagwati is the closest in this sample. The rents declared are mostly in the Rs 240,000 to Rs 300,000 range for the same house, which seems close to reality. By the way, most of the same IFS officers also own apartments in a society in Sector 56, Gurgaon where again the value is either 'not known' or varies wildly.