news Wednesday, April 29, 2015 - 05:30
Though it’s Prime Minister Modi who has been in the limelight recently for his travels abroad, it turns out that ex-Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was no less either. Coimbatore city based activist Daniel Jesudass has discovered that the government spent more than Rs. 676 crores on the ex-Prime Minister’s foreign visits; a response was sought under the Right to Information (RTI) Act. According to the RTI reply, the government incurred these ginormous expenses between May 2004 and March 2013 as the ex- PM visited close to 36 countries. Singh first visited Bangkok from 29th July till 31st July, 2004 and this visit cost the government five crore thirty-eight lakh and ninety-five thousand rupees. On March 25 2013, the government spent ten crore ninety-four lakh and seventy-nine thousand rupees on his last visit to South Africa, as stated in the RTI reply. Jesudass had also sought information about expense details of the foreign visits made by former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee and incumbent Prime Minister Narendra Modi (up to April). However, the PMO has only shared information pertaining to Manmohan Singh’s visits. Jesudass also enquired, via the RTI, the expenses incurred by the state during US President, Barack Obama’s visit as well as the value of gift articles provided to visiting heads of state and other ministers. He has decided to approach the PMO again to ascertain whether the overseas visits of the PMs were actually beneficial or not. Here’s the RTI reply.  
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