New Delhi: The Union government told the Parliament that it had spent Rs 1,698.98 crore on advertisements between 2018 and 2021. The Information and Broadcasting Minister Anurag Thakur, replying to a question on Tuesday, said that the amount was spent on print and electronic media during the period, Hindustan Times reports.
The minister claimed in his written reply that through ads the government's primary objective was to create awareness of government policies and schemes among the beneficiaries, including the population living in remote areas, through Print, Electronic and Outdoor Media.
The ministry shared data that showed that the government spent Rs 826.5 crore on advertisements in papers. The data said Rs 118.59 crore was spent on ads in 6,085 newspapers in 2020-21, Rs 200 crore in 5,365 newspapers in 2019-20 and Rs 507.9 crore was spent in 6,119 newspapers in 2018-19. In electronic media, the expenditure on advertisement was Rs 193.52 crore in the last three years.
Earlier, Thakur had told Parliament that the government had reduced spending on ads by reducing the size of non-communication ads like inviting tender or job vacancies and by giving only bare minimum information with links for further details.
The Union government's cost-cutting was almost achieved after a Right to Information (RTI) plea filed by an activist Jatin Desai. He got a response from the Bureau of Outreach and Communication that a cumulative of Rs 1.95 crore was spent per day on advertisements in 2019-20.
The dividends included Rs 295.05 crore spent on print advertisement, Rs 317.05 crore on electronic media and Rs 101.1 crore on outdoor advertisements in the form of hoardings and billboards. But the response hasn't included the amount spent in foreign media for ads.