NEW DELHI: While Prime Minister Narendra Modi has often come under criticism for his frequent foreign tours, it transpires that his predecessor Manmohan Singh is not much behind, either in the number of trips or the expenses incurred on them. While Singh made 38 foreign trips during his second term (2009-14), incurring a total cost of approximately Rs 1,346 crore, Modi has so far undertaken 48 visits, costing nearly Rs 2,021 crore to the exchequer.
The expenditure includes the cost of maintenance of the Prime Minister’s aircraft and setting up a secure hotline. According to information provided by the Ministry of External affairs in Parliament, the maintenance of chartered aircraft meant to fly the PM on foreign trips comprises bulk of the expenditure.
The total maintenance cost during UPA-II under Singh was about Rs 842 crore while during the current NDA rule it’s about Rs 1,582 crore. The highest amount was probably spent on Modi’s nine-day tour of France, Germany and Canada between April 9 and 17, 2015.
The PM’s delegation usually consists of representatives from the PMO, security agencies, MEA and media.