The government spent Rs 88.48 crore in 2014-15, which went down to Rs 75.98 crore in 2015-16, Rs 36.99 crore in 2016-17, and Rs 23.85 crore in 2017-18 taking the total to Rs 225.30 crore.
The central government spent around Rs 240 crore as expenditure for trips abroad by ministers since coming to power in 2014, with the expenditure decreasing with each passing year, response to an RTI filed by The Indian Express has revealed. The data has been provided by the Pay & Accounts Office, Cabinet Affairs, which comes under the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) and manages the expenses for official foreign trips for the Prime Minister and Council of Ministers.
Data accessed by IE shows that while the government incurred a cost of Rs 225.30 crore on trips undertaken by cabinet ministers from April 1, 2014 to March 31, 2018, it spent Rs 13.75 crore on visits by the Ministers of State. The government spent Rs 88.48 crore in 2014-15, which went down to Rs 75.98 crore in 2015-16, Rs 36.99 crore in 2016-17, and Rs 23.85 crore in 2017-18 taking the total to Rs 225.30 crore.
For foreign trips by Ministers of State, the central government spent Rs 2.40 crore in 2014-15, Rs 4.53 in 2015-16, Rs 3.03 crore 2016-17, and Rs 3.79 crore in 2017-18, the report says. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Council of Ministers has 25 Cabinet Ministers and 45 Ministers of State.
The amount also includes expenditure for foreign trips undertaken by the erstwhile UPA Council of Ministers as the NDA government took charge on May 27, 2014. The expenditure on Cabinet ministers’ abroad trips has been sliding.
Minister of State for External Affairs V K Singh has recently informed that a total of Rs 2,021.58 crore was spent for PM Modi’s official abroad trips. This cost included that of chartered flights, hotline and aircraft maintenance, the report says.