BENGALURU: In his 48 months as Prime Minister, Narendra Modi made 41 trips to over 50 countries, at a total cost of Rs 355 crore. He was abroad for a cumulative 165 days.
This was revealed through replies to Right to Information (RTI) queries submitted to the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) by RTI activist Bhimappa Gadad, who shared these replies with The New Indian Express.
Of these 41 trips by PM Modi to 52 countries, the highest amount was spent on his nine-day tri-nation visit to France, Germany and Canada between April 9 and 15, 2015, which incurred expenses to the tune of Rs 31,25,78,000; and the least expensive trip was his very first one as Prime Minister, to Bhutan on June 15-16, 2014 at a cost of Rs 2,45,27,465.
Gadad, who filed the RTI petition seeking details about expenses on PM’s foreign trips, said he filed it out of curiosity. “ A few years ago, I had applied for details of foreign visits by chief ministers of Karnataka. Recently, I was going through news reports wherein Prime Minister’s foreign visits were heavily criticized. Then I applied under RTI seeking details of PM’s foreign visits and I was really shocked to know the details,” he said.
He is bitter 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 said.
“Though I got the information out of curiosity, I want it to reach the public. Everyone should know about it,” he said, adding that the Centre should also release reports on the benefits to the country emerging from these visits.