New Delhi, July 29: Out of 1,524 days he has been in office as prime minister, Narendra Modi has spent a total of 492 days travelling abroad.
Modi has undertaken 84 international trips since becoming prime minister and the government has spent Rs 1,484 crore since June 2014.
Modi assumed office in May 2014 and by the end of his Africa tour, has spent 492 days travelling to various parts of India and the world, a little over 32% of his tenure, according to the visits listed on the PMO website.
The PMO website defines visits as official or non-official. Only domestic visits are listed as non-official.
When in India, Modi is more often seen on election rallies or campaigning and nowadays launching projects or schemes.
Manmohan Singh visited a total 27 countries during his first three years as Prime Minister in the UPA I government — from June 2004 to May 2007. PM Modi visited nearly double that — 49 countries — in a similar time span of June 2014 to May 2017.
Singh significantly upped the number of foreign tours he undertook during his second term as PM. However, that number — 36 — is nowhere close to Modi’s. His predecessor, Manmohan Singh, spent 368 days travelling during his first term and 284 days in his second term.
External Affairs VK Singh told Rajya Sabha that the money was spent on chartered flights, maintenance of aircraft and hotline facilities.
Singh gave a break up of the cost incurred under these three categories between June 15, 2014, and June 10, 2018. While a sum of Rs 1,088.42 crore was spent on maintenance of the prime minister’s aircraft, Rs 387.26 was paid to hire chartered flights. For hotline facilities, the government spent Rs 9.12 crore.
However, the cost of chartered flights for Modi’s visits in 2018-’19 and the expenditure on hotline facilities in 2017-’18 and 2018-’19 were not included.
With an eye on the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, Prime Minister will address 50 rallies across the country by February next year, covering more than 100 Lok Sabha constituencies.
“Diplomatic outreach during this period [since May 2014] has included first-ever visits from India to several countries at the head of government level,” Singh said