Modi govt dodges RTI request on expense on Arun Jaitley’s foreign trips,13 in 12 months


Prime Minister Narendra Modi often gets flak from his detractors for spending excessive time outside India with many dubbing him as an NRI PM.

But an RTI reply exclusively accessed by has revealed that the Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley is giving him stiff competition in undertaking foreign trips.

According to a latest RTI reply, Jaitley went on 13 foreign trips between October 2014 and November 2015 spending close to 50 days abroad. In other words, the effective number two in the Modi government effectively spent almost two out of 12 months travelling abroad.

The RTI request filed by an Ahmedabad based activist had asked four questions including the list of ‘foreign country visited by’ Jaitley.

The reply provided by SK Biswas, an under secretary in the Indian government, sent a list of all the countries visited the finance minister between October/November 2014 and November 2015.

However, the Indian government ‘refused’ to provide information on the request for the expense incurred on Jaitley’s foreign trips.

The reply said, “..It is informed that no such information in a compiled form is being maintained and held by the undersigned. However, as regards on query (on expense),….your online application is being transferred under Section 6(3)of the RTI Actto CPIOs of Departments of Economic Affairs, Revenue, Financial Services and Disinvestment for furnishing information if any.”

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Jaitley, who first held three key porfolios after the Modi government was formed had relinquished the responsibility for the defence ministry in favour of Manohar Parrikar while continuing to hold the finance and Information and Broadcasting ministries.

Critics say that notwithstanding of his foreign trips, he has miserably failed to attract investors to India thereby achieving dismal performance on economic front.

The latest revelation of him being the second most frequent jet-setter after the prime minister, may not go down well both with his rivals and tax paying Indian public.