New Delhi, February 2: The government on Thursday informed the upper house of the parliament that nearly Rs 94 crore has been spent by the government on advertisement to promote digital payments and less-cash economy post demonetisation.
The question regarding the details of the total amount spent by the government for publicity of demonetisation was raised by Congress leader Kapil Sibal in the Rajya Sabha. Responding to the question, Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Rajyavardhan Singh Rahtore said: Total committed expenditure for awareness regarding digital payment and popularising action on less cash economy is Rs 93,93,28,566.
In a written reply he also said, “DAVP has the practice of making cashless payments to newspapers, generally through NEFT. Bill submission period is 60 days from the date of publication of print advertisement. Till date, DAVP has paid Rs 14,95,84,691 for the advertisements released between November 9, 2016 and January 25.”
The government justified the expenditure of taxpayers’ money for curtailing shadow economy and use of illicit and counterfeit cash to fund illegal activities, including terrorism.
On November 9, 2016, Prime Minister Narendra Modi stashed away 86 % of currency in circulation without a prior warning and till date, unprecedented cash crunch has crippled the economy of the country. The government has backed its decision as a means to promote digital India and fight corruption. However till date, government has not released the total deposits made by public during demonetisation.