NEW DELHI: The AAP government is expected to trim its publicity budget down to Rs 200 crore for the next fiscal, nearly half of the allocation of that of last year, which had triggered outrage from the opposition.
In his budget speech in Delhi Assembly on March 28, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, who holds the finance portfolio as well, may also explain the rationale behind putting the funds for advertisement under one consolidated head.
The AAP government had last year set aside Rs 526 crore for information and publicity in the 2015-16 Budget, drawing severe criticism from both BJP and Congress.
"The government will reduce its public awareness and advertisement budget by nearly half the amount as compared to last year.
"Sisodia, while presenting the 2016-17 Budget on March 28, is likely to quote the budget for information and publicity and also explain why it was put under one consolidated fund to ensure transparency," an official in the chief minister's secretariat said, adding this is a consolidated fund for all departments.
After Aam Aadmi Party came to power, the entire fund for awareness and advertisement has been put under one consolidated plan head monitored by the Directorate of Information and Publicity (DIP).
Earlier, various departments of the government used to spend funds for advertisements on their own, making it difficult to estimate the exact expenditure on this account.
In the last budget, Rs 338 crore was earmarked for SC/ST/EWS welfare, Rs 208 crore for labour and employment and Rs 400 crore for the development of slums.