The Narendra Modi-led government has spent Rs 4,343.26 crore on advertisements and publicity through different media since 2014, according to Right to Information reply, NDTV reported. Anil Galgali, an RTI activist based in Mumbai, had sought details from the Bureau of Outreach and Communication on the current government’s publicity expenditure.
As per the information, from June 2014 to March 2015, the government spent Rs 953.54 crore, of which Rs 424.85 crore was spent on print publicity, reported PTI. In the fiscal year 2015-16, the spending increased to Rs 1,171.11 crore. The spending on electronic media was the highest with Rs 541.99 crore. In the following fiscal year, spending again increased to Rs 1.263.15 crore and electronic media spending jumped to Rs 613.78 crore. Expenditure on outdoor publicity grew from Rs 118.43 crore in 2015-16 to Rs 185.99 crore in 2016-17.
The RTI reply also showed that during a nine-month period (April 2017-December 2017), the government spent Rs 333.23 crore on print publicity alone, amounting to a total of Rs 955.46 crore for 2017-18.
Galgali claimed that the government finally cut down on publicity expenditure after “stringent criticism” from the Opposition and on social media over squandering of public resources, NDTV reported.