Modi’s foreign trips cost Rs 2,000 crore since 2014 – What’s the criticism about ?
The foreign trips of the Prime Minister Mr Narendra Modi have been one of the most talked about aspects of his tenure.
A recent disclosure by Mr V K Singh, Minister of State for External Affairs in the Rajya Sabha has revealed that the Prime Minister’s foreign trips have cost an estimated Rs 2,000 crore from June 15, 2014 to December 3, 2018.
The disclosure was made in response to a question from Communist Party of India MP Mr Binoy Biswam who had also asked for the number and names of the countries visited, the names of ministers who had accompanied him, agreements signed and the payments made to Air India for the PM’s overseas tours.
In response, Mr Singh said that around Rs 1,583.18 crore was spent on aircraft maintenance, Rs 429.28 crore on chartered flights, and Rs 9.12 crore on a secure hotline (barring May 2017 to December 2018). During his trips, Modi has met with several global leaders including US president Donald Trump, Japanese PM Shinzo Abe and Chinese President Xi Jinping.
Trips that came under criticism included the 2016 trip to Japan immediately after demonetisation, seen as bad optics when several Indians were struggling to get cash outside ATMs and the gift of 200 dairy cows to Rwanda, a beef eating region.