I&B Ministry responds to RTI query
The Modi government spent a whopping Rs 3,755 crore on its publicity in three-and-a-half years till October this year, reply to an RTI query revealed on Friday.
The expenditure on advertisements from April 2014 to October 2017 on electronic and print media and outdoor publicity is Rs 37,54,06,23,616, according to the reply given by the Information and Broadcasting Ministry. The application was filed by Greater Noida-based social activist Ramveer Tanwar.
The Central government, the reply says, spent over Rs 1,656 crore on electronic media advertisements, including community radio, digital cinema, Internet, SMS and television. In the print media, the government spent more than Rs 1,698 crore.
Outdoor advertisements, which include hoardings, posters, booklets and calendars, accounted for over Rs, 399 crore, the reply reveals.
The amount spent on publicity blitz is more than the yearly budget allocated to some key ministries and the government’s flagship programmes. The government’s allocation for “pollution abatement” in the last three years was only Rs 56.8 crore.
In 2016, an RTI query filed by Tanwar had revealed that the Centre spent over ₹1,100 crore between June 1, 2014 and August 31, 2016, on advertisements featuring Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The expenditure was only for television, Internet and other electronic media and did not include expenditure on outdoor and print advertisements.
In 2015, another RTI reply revealed that the Centre spent nearly Rs 8.5 crore on newspaper advertisements for the PM’s monthly radio address ‘Mann Ki Baat’ till July 2015.