The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government at the Centre headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has so far splurged a whopping amount of approximately ₹5,000 crore in advertisement and publicity through different media, an RTI reply has revealed.
Noida-based RTI activist Ramveer Tanwar had sought details from 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.
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 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.
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.