RTI Reveals Modi Government Spent Rs 4,343 Crore In Publicity

RTI Reveals Modi Government Spent Rs 4,343 Crore In Publicity: At a time when Narendra Modi Government at center has been trying to show public its clean image of austerity in expenditure, the expenditure Government has so far incurred is whopping Rs 4,343.26 crore only for advertisements and publicity through different media, reveals an RTI.

The Narendra Modi government at center has spent staggering Rs 4,343 crore on publicity after it came to power in May 2014. The information came after an RTI query which was provided by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.

Mumbai based RTI activist Anil Galgali had filed an RTI a few months back and the information revealed these expenditures were incurred on different segments of advertisements like print, electronic media, and outdoor publicity. The central government agency said in response to the application filed by The Bureau of Outreach Communication under the ministry revealed that government spent Rs 4,343.26 crore on advertising its programmes across media platforms.

The amount spent on different segments of media are –

1.Rs 1732.15 crore on advertisements in the print media (from June 1, 2014, to December 7, 2017)

2. Rs 531.24 crore was spent on outdoor publicity (June 2014 to January 2018), it said.

3. Rs 2079.87 crore in the electronic media (from June 1, 2014, to March 31, 2018).

Financial Advisor, Bureau of Outreach Communication, Tapan Sutradhar, provided expenditure details on publicity campaigns from June 2014.

The reply mentioned that outdoor publicity included posters, hoardings, railway tickets, banners, digital panels etc.

Print media had included newspapers and magazines whereas electronic media had included TV, SMS, Internet, digital cinema and radio and digital cinema etc- the reply further stated.

About Bureau of Outreach Communication-

Bureau of Outreach Communication was formed after merging three media units of the I&B ministry to ensure “credible, consistent and clear communication” by various wings of the government across media platforms.

RTI activist Anil Galgali said that although it is okay for the government to spend on publicity where it is right but there should not be excess of expenses.

The RTI reply also revealed that during a nine-month period (April 2017-December 2017), the Modi government spent INR 333.23 crore on print publicity only, amounting to a total of INR 955.46 crore for 2017-18.

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Pranab Saikia is a Delhi based Journalist with 12 years of experience in national media at different positions, writes on civic problems, politics, business, international relations and page 3