A Right to Information (RTI) query has revealed that the Narendra Modi government spent a gargantuan Rs. 4,343 crore (43,430 million) on advertisements and publicity so far. Mumbai-based RTI activist Anil Galgali procured the information from Bureau of Outreach and Communication (BOC), the Economic Times reported.
The query was made for information on the amount spent on advertisements and publicity in all media after the Narendra Modi government came to power in June 2014. The reply has left the public with the following information. From June 2014 to March 2015, the government spent Rs 424.85 crore in print publicity, Rs 448.97 crore on electronic media and Rs 79.72 crore on outdoor publicity, totalling to Rs 953.54 crore.
2015-2016 saw an increase in the amount with the government spending Rs 510.69 crore on print media, Rs 541.99 crore on electronic media and Rs 118.43 crore on outdoor publicity, or a total of Rs 1,171.11 crore. 2016-2017 saw a total of Rs. 1263.15 crore being spent on publicity. 2017-2018 saw a decline in the amount spent on electronic media and outdoor publicity with 475.13 crore and 147.10 crore spent on them respectively.
‘Print media included newspapers, magazines, while electronic media covered TV, Internet, radio, digital cinema, SMSs etc. Outdoor publicity included posters, banners, digital panels, hoardings, railway tickets etc,’ the RTI reply stated.
“A detailed analysis proves that after stringent criticism it attracted, especially from the opposition and on social media, over squandering of scarce public resources, the government finally cut down on its publicity expenditure this year by Rs. 307.69 crore,” Galgali said about the figures.