UPA Government Sacrifices an IIT/ 2 IIMs for Its Own Publicity: SpendsRs. 2,048 Crores!
At a time when the Indian economy was facing a slowdown and the UPA government had announced austerity measures, about Rs.2, 048 crore was spent in advertising and publicity of its schemes over a period of 3 years, averaging about Rs.55 crore every month. And, in the run- up to the general elections of 2014, the Congress- led government spent Rs.380 crore in just 1 month (March, 2014.)
The magnitude of the expense can be gauged from the fact that it takes Rs.1, 750 crore to set up an IIT and about Rs.1, 000 crore to establish an IIM in the nation. The government could have set up at least 2 IIMs or an IIT if the funds were channelled elsewhere.
Information accessed through RTI by Mumbai-based Anil Galgali reveals that the UPA spent Rs.2, 048 crore in 37 months. He had filed a query with the Centre seeking details of expenses incurred in publicity and advertising in the last 3 years of UPA rule. These expenses include government campaigns like Bharat Nirman etc. In an earlier RTI response, government had said it had spent Rs.421 crore on Bharat Nirman from 2010 to 2014.
In 37 months, Rs.1, 318 crore was spent on print media whereas Rs.729 crore was spent on TV, radio, social media, digital cinema, and other communication media.
With the nearing of Lok Sabha polls, the UPA government spent over Rs.379.53 crore in March 2014, out of which Rs.250 crore was spent on print media and Rs.128 crore on electronic media, social media and internet.
Not entire, but a significant amount of government publicity funds are spent by DAVP. Some sources said it was safe to assume that far more had been spent by the earlier government on publicity than revealed.