Bills for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s chartered flights for four tours amounting to Rs 35.94 crore have not been settled “due to paucity of funds”, the Centre told Rajya Sabha on Thursday. These include his tours to Sweden, United Kingdom and Germany in April, Russia in May, Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore in May and China in June.
Minister of State for External Affairs VK Singh was responding to questions raised by Congress MP Sanjay Sinh on details of official foreign tours of former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh between 2009 and 2014 and Modi from 2014 till date. Sinh also sought details on the purpose and total expenditure of each journey and the investment received from the countries that Modi visited.
Singh’s reply showed that between June 2014 and now, Modi has gone on 48 foreign trips, totalling Rs 429.28 crore on chartered flights. Manmohan Singh undertook 38 trips between June 2009 and March 2014, totalling Rs 493.22 crore on chartered flights. Modi’s expenses are likely to exceed Singh’s as bills for three trips are pending. The reply also showed that Rs 375.29 crore for aircraft maintenance for financial years 2016-’17, 2017-’18, and 2018-’19 was outstanding.
The Foreign Direct Investments grew from $30,930.5 million in 2014 to $43,478.27 million in 2017, Singh said. The countries visited by Modi since 2014 are among the top 10 countries from where India received the maximum FDI.
Earlier this month, Singh had informed the Rajya Sabha that Modi’s trips abroad totalled over Rs 2,000 crore since 2014.