Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Rajyavardhan Rathore has revealed that the Modi government has spent a whopping Rs 4,880 crore on advertisements through electronic, print and other media in 52 months between April 2014 and July 2018. He informed the Rajya Sabha on Monday.
Further elaborating the details, the minister said Rs 979.78 crore was spent in 2014-15, Rs 1,160.16 crore in 2015-16, Rs 1,264.26 crore in 2016-17 and Rs 1,313.57 crore in 2017-18. He also said that an amount of Rs 162.83 is a “booked expenditure” for 2018-19 so far.
He told that Rs 2,128.33 crore was spent on print advertisements, Rs 2,131.57 crore was spent on audio-visual media and Rs 620.70 crore was spent on outdoor publicity.
Out of the 4,880 crore, Rs 292.17 crore (7.81%) went to advertising of four public schemes in three years–Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana , Swachh Bharat Mission, Smart City Mission and Saansad Adarsh Gram Yojana.
This amount is double the sum spent by the UPA in 37 months. The Manmohan Singh led government had spent Rs 2,048 crore between March 2011 and March 2014.
What else could have been done with Rs 4,880 crore ?
According to a IndiaSpend report, the Rs 4,880 Crore spent on advertisements could have been used in important projects ranging from child nutrition to public health and sanitation.
1. 45.7 million children could have been provided with mid-day meals.
2. 5.98 million new toilets could have been built under the Swachh Bharat Mission.
3. 206.43 million people could have been employed for one day under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme.
4. The funds for repair and maintenance of the national highways for the year 2018-19 could have been boosted by 67%.
5. 920.75 MW more solar power could have been generated which would be enough to power a city of the size of Chandigarh for almost 4 hours.
6. 10 more Mars mission could have been launched.
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