Prime Minister Narendra Modi, his fans and followers say, is a tireless man, working deep into the night without keeping track of time.
But from among numerous gifts Modi received during foreign trips this year, he took home a wristwatch manufactured by British company Sekonda, besides a couple of smaller items, according to official documents.
Ministers and officials have to deposit all gifts at the toshakhana, the official repository of the external affairs ministry.
Any gift valued less than Rs 5000 can be kept by the recipient. For gifts above Rs 5000, they have to pay the additional amount, said an official of the toshakhana who is from the Central Board of Customs and Excise.
The watch, entered as a Sekonda ‘House of Commons’ wristwatch, was valued at Rs 3,500.
Besides the watch, the PM also took a decorative porcelain valued at Rs 1000.
Among the gifts received by Modi between January and March are a model of the fabled Sha’bi housing model of the United Arab Emirates, a decorative sculpture with Argillite carving and a Mont Blanc ballpoint pen.
These six gift items among the 83 latest entries at the toshakhana.
The Mont Blanc pen is valued at Rs 2500 and is kept at the toshakhana. Also deposited at the repository is the model of Emirati National House, valued at Rs 4500 and a the decorative sculpture with Argillite carving, valued at Rs 2000.
Argillite carvings are a sculptural tradition in the northwest coast of North America. It first became a widespread art form from the early 19th century.
The toshakhana, however, doesn’t reveal the source of gifts on the ground that such disclosure is not in the interest of the bilateral relationships with countries.
Officials said ministers and officials rarely take home very expensive gifts home.
According to the records at the toshakhana, in the past Modi took two dinner sets worth Rs 10,000 and a carpet worth Rs 15000, after paying the excess amounts.
A report said former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh took 101 items from the numerous gifts he received during his 10 years in office.
These gifts include an ornamental silver elephant embedded with semi-precious stones, 10 paintings, a Bose sound system and a gold-plated Piaget ladies wrist watch. And out of these, only seven are valued above Rs 5,000.