An RTI reply has finally revealed that Rs 355 crore had been spent on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s 41 foreign trips as he spent 165 days living abroad in the last four years.
According to an RTI reply to a Bengaluru-based activist Bhimappa Gadad, the PMO said that Modi had visited over 50 countries across six continents in his 41 foreign trips in the last 48 months of his tenure, costing Indian taspaying public over Rs 355 crore.
Among the countries most by Modi have been the US and China. However, most expensive trip of Modi was his nine-day tour of France, Germany and Canada between 9 and 15 April in 2015. It cost taxpayers Rs 31.25 crore. His least expensive trip till date has been his visit to Bhutan on 15 and 16 June, 2014, costing Rs 2.45 crore.
Modi has spent nearly six months in total living abroad since becoming India’s prime minister in May 2015.
The activist said that he was unhappy about the PMO not providing information on domestic travels of the Prime Minister. “They have not furnished details of domestic visits and expenses for security provided during the visits. I did not ask for details of security measures. I just asked for the expenses, but they refused, saying the SPG security organisation, which takes care of PM security, is exempted from the purview of RTI,” he was quoted by New Indian Express.
In March this year, Janta Ka Reporter had exclusively reported the RTI replies that the Centre’s Modi government owed the debt-ridden Air India more than Rs. 325 crore. This included the bills for the foreign trips made by VVIPs– the President, the Vice President and the Prime Minister.
Modi has often faced criticism from his political detractors for being out of the country far too often, resulting in the poor governance. The Indian economy has taken a beating under his term as the country’s prime minister. The value of rupee on Thursday plunged to an all-time low as it breached Rs 69.