During ten years of UPA from 2004-2014, the Central government had spent nearly ₹2,658 crore on advertisement and publicity, half the NDA amount.
In a more recent revelation of the unbridled expenses incurred by the Modi govt, it was found that the govt spend about Rs. 5000 crores for publicity since 2014. The figure is twice the amount of ten years of UPA regime under Manmohan Singh.
During ten years of UPA from 2004-2014, the Central government had spent a total amount of nearly ₹2,658 crore on advertisement and publicity.
An RTI reply sought by Noida based RTI activist Ramveer Tanwar revealed this information. He had written to the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting related to all the expenditure incurred by the Modi government on self-promotion, advertisement and publicity in all media since 2014.
“The Modi government, according to the reply, has spent the highest amount of money--approximately ₹2208 crore--on advertisements through electronic media, followed by a massive expenditure on print media for publicity,” reported National Herald.
“The reply provided by the ministry, which is headed by Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, on the expenses incurred since June 2014 revealed that the Modi government has spent ₹2136 crore on advertisement and publicity through print media till August 2018. The RTI reply further disclosed that from April 2014 to August 2018, the government had spent ₹647 crore in outdoor promotions and publicity which includes billboards and bus benches etc. In the name of the outdoor promotion, the Ministry of Tourism (MoT) headed by Mahesh Sharma spent a massive amount of money on publicity in the last four years. As per the official records, the MoT has spent ₹11 crore on outdoor promotion in 2014-2015, ₹14 crore in 2015-2016 and ₹5 crore in 2017-2018,” the report said.
“Similarly, the Department of Consumer Affairs has alone spent ₹14 crore on outdoor promotion of the Modi government in just one year from 2014 – 2015. During 2017-2018, the department spent ₹17 crore on advertisement through outdoor promotion. Pertinently, Modi government has spent almost double the amount of money on self-promotion in less than five years when compared with the money spent by Manmohan Singh’s government. During ten years of the UPA regime from 2004-2014, Manmohan Singh government had spent a total amount of nearly ₹ 2658 crore on publicity,” the report said.
In May this year, another RTI had revealed that BJP govt spent Rs 4,343.26 crore on advertisements and publicity through different media. “Mumbai-based RTI activist Anil Galgali had sought details from the Centre’s Bureau of Outreach and Communication (BOC) on all expenditure on advertisement and publicity in all media since the present government assumed office,” a report said.
IMAGE: Source Credit IndiaSpend
The question is how did two RTI replies get two varied answers on the same question and the difference between the due was upto Rs. 700 crores?
An expenditure of Rs. 1484 crores was incurred on chartered flights, aircraft maintenance, hotline facilities and more for PM Modi’s visit to 84 countries since 2014. The details of this foreign travel expenditure were shared in the Rajya Sabha by Minister of State for External Affairs V K Singh as reported by ET in July.
This revelation is much higher than what was initially estimated by media houses.
“While the initial numbers had surfaced in July 2018, the latest analysis by IndiaSpend shows that there has been a 34 per cent rise in the government’s advertisement spending only in the last four years. Of this, a maximum of over Rs. 292 crore was focused on promoting four key schemes in the last three years-- Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (Prime Minister’s Crop Insurance Scheme) for crop insurance, Swachh Bharat Mission (Clean India Mission) for a nationwide cleanliness campaign, Smart City Mission and Sansad Adarsh Gram Yojana (Ideal Village Scheme for Members of Parliament) for urban and rural development,” Newsclick reported.
With this much money, the NDA govt could’ve financed Midday meals for 45.7 million children for a year, one day’s wages for 200 million workers under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MNREGS), about 6 million new latrines and at least 10 more Mars missions.
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