New Delhi: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is leading among other members of delegation who have deposited their gifts received during foreign visits in the government treasury.

Ministers, bureaucrats and dignitaries heading towards foreign visits usually get expensive gifts ranging from tech-savvy equipments, scotches & whisky or precious metals and others.

However, as per the rules, the gifts received by members of delegation costing more than Rs 5,000 have to be deposited in the ‘government toshakhana’, the gift chest of Indian Government.

‘Toshakhana’ is an interesting section of Ministry of External Affairs where dignitaries have to deposit their valuable gifts received during visits abroad. These gifts, however, are not put on sale but are usually kept in national museums or sent to the Prime Minister’s office.

In case the delegate wishes to keep the gift with himself then he is supposed to deposit the price of the particular item in the public treasury and claim the gift.

In a recent RTI revelation, the largest contributor to the treasure trove is PM Manmohan Singh, followed by UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi during January 2011 to February 2012.

The Prime Minister, who usually receives valuable gifts, have deposited a vase worth Rs 40,000, silver bowl worth Rs 20,000, Sony Handy cam worth Rs 20, 000, painting worth Rs 15,000 and many others.

Of all the other gifts in the ‘toshakhana’, Sonia has deposited the most expensive one (a vanity case and a purse valued at Rs 50,000). Next was a kada (bangle) worth Rs 49,250 received by the PM's wife Gursharan Kaur. An iPad given to foreign secretary Ranjan Mathai (Rs 32,000) and silver coins set worth Rs 16,000 are among the other high-value gifts.

JPN/Bureau