A media report on Thursday said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s three-day visit to Canada this year had cost Canadian taxpayers more than 373,000 Canadian dollars equivalent to Rs 1.42 crore.
This didn’t include the cost of security arrangements. The cost of hosting Modi during the three-day trip has now become politically controversial.
The other expenditures include 10,448 Canadian dollars on hotel rooms, 30,000 Canadian dollars on audio-visual equipment, 21,708 Canadian dollars on unspecified consultants.
“About 73,213 Canadian dollars on public servants’ travel, 14,790 Canadian dollars on health services were spent during Modi’s visit,” the report added.
According to the report, the largest expense during Modi’s visit was an event in Toronto and the cost was not borne by taxpayers but by private citizens and businesses.
“The event at the Ricoh Coliseum arena, in which Modi and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper addressed over 10,000 Indo-Canadians, cost 600,000 Canadian dollars (Rs.3 crore),” president of National Alliance of Indo-Canadians Azad Kumar Kaushik was quoted as saying.
The event also became controversial as it proved to be a shot in the arm for Progressive Conservative Party (PCP) MP Patrick Brown, who was campaigning for leadership of Ontario province.
“We did not look at it from (an electoral) perspective. Our goal was to create bonding between India and Canada,” Kaushik noted.
Meanwhile, Gilles Bisson, leader of New Democratic Party of Ontario, has demanded that Brown — who is now leader of the PCP, should pay taxpayers back for some of the cost of Modi visit.
“You cannot have somebody do a political activity and then have it paid by the state,” Bisson pointed out.
Earlier in May, jantakareporter.com had exclusively reported how Modi’s visit to US had cost Indian taxpayers more Rs 9 crore.