RTI reveals 1.95 crores spent per day by the Centre on advertising in 2019-20text_fields
According to the Bureau of Outreach and Communication under the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, the Modi government spent 713.20 crores on advertising in the financial year 2019-20. The government spent 1.95 crores per day on publicity. The clarification came in response to an RTI filed by activist Jatin Desai.
295.05 crores were spent for print advertisements, 317.05 crores for electronic media and 101.10 for outdoor advertisements. The expenditure on advertisements in foreign media, however, was not revealed.
An RTI filed by Mumbai-based activist Anil Galgali revealed the expenses of the Modi government on advertisements in its previous term (2014-19) which came around 5909 crores. According to the data received in response, from June 2014- March 2015, the government spent 953.54 crores on advertising. This expense rose steadily till 2017-18; 1171.11 crores in 2015-16, 1263.15 crores in 2016-17, and 1313.57 crores in 2017-18. In the last year of NDA's first term, the expenditure was reduced following criticism and hit 1195.37 crores. This still exceeded the total budgetary allocation of 1,055 crores for NDA's flagship maternity entitlements scheme, Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana, notes Newslaundry.
Across different media, electronic media receives the most of government advertising seconded by print. Though the popularity of outdoor advertising and electronic media has increased over the years, print ads have seen a downfall. Within electronic media, for both financial years 2017 and 2018, most expenditure was on TV ads followed by radio.
According to the data collected by Reetika Khera, associate professor of economics at IIT Delhi, and Anmol Somanchi, an independent researcher, spending on government advertising started rising in 2004-05 and continued to rise under Manmohan Singh. The UPA government spent the highest in 2013-14, over 1000 crores before it lost to NDA in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls. Their data also hints that BJP's annual advertising expenditure has been higher than the Congress's regardless of who is in power. This amount hikes during election years and hit 470 crores in 2014-15. Other parties which spend a relative amount on publicity are Samajwadi Party and AAP though the amounts come nowhere close to the BJP.