The Prime Minister Office has refused to entertain an RTI request asking details about the expense incurred on his recent UAE trip, number of MoUs he signed while there and the identity of delegates who accompanied him on this trip.
While replying to the first question, the PMO simply attached a link to its website, which according to its reply, kèeps details of costs involving prime minister’s foreign trips.
However, the link to PMO website has flight cost of PM Narendra Modi’s first foreign trip to Bhutan only while, according to the PMO website, the flight cost of other 27 countries visited by him is still awaited or the ‘bills are being processed.’
Speaking to jantakareporter.com, the Ahmedabad-based RTI activist said that the reply was akin to ‘ullu banaving’ exercise by the PMO.
He said, ” first they comfortably ignored my two questions related to MoUs and delegates who travelled to the Gulf country with Modi. And on the question of cost, it directed me to the PMO website, which it promised has all the details. But the website has cost detail of his Bhutan trip only. First his degree and now cost of foreign trips. What’s it that the PMO is trying to hide?”
According to the PMO website, just the flight cost for PM Modi’s first trip to Bhutan had cost over Rs 2.45 crore.
“This is quite a cost given that Bhutan is one of the closest neighbours of India. PM Modi has undertaken 27-28 trips abroad including faraway places such as the US, Canada, Fiji and Australia since becoming tge prime minister last year. Assuming the flight cost of each of his foreign trip was same as that of Bhutan, we are talking about a cumulative cost of around Rs 75 crore just towards his flight costs. The question is; how many MoUs he signed during all these trips for us to assess if they were good value for money,” said the RTI activist, wishing to remain anonymous.