Delhi government spent Rs 659.02 crore on advertisement since 2012-13 out of which Rs 511.78 crore or 77.66% were in the past five and half years when Arvind Kejriwal was in power, according to an RTI reply.
Between April and October this year, the Delhi government has spent Rs 99.69 crore while the highest expenditure was incurred in the 2019-20 fiscal when it gave advertisements worth Rs 199.99 crore.
Curiously, the bulk of advertisement spending by the Delhi government in 2019-20 came in a single month -- March this year -- when the administration splurged Rs 103.76 crore on publicity, after the Kejriwal government swept the Assembly elections a month earlier.
Before this in the fiscal, the government had spent Rs 99.23 crore and the government could not spend money on advertisements publicising its programmes between January 6 and February 10 as Model Code of Conduct was in effect.
The total amount spent by the Kejriwal government could be a little more than the estimate of Rs 511.78 crore as the analysis does not include the amount his government spent during the 49-day government in 2013 and around one and half months in 2014-15.
According to the RTI response received by an MBBS student Vivek Pandey from Madhya Pradesh, there has been a substantial increase in expenditure on advertisement and publicity since 2015-16.
While in 2012-13, the expenditure was Rs 11.18 crore, which rose 25.24 crore in 2013-14 and Rs 11.12 crore in 2014-15, the advertisement spent in 2015-16 witnessed a sharp jump to Rs 81.23 crore.
However, this came down to Rs 67.25 crore in the next fiscal only to almost double in 2017-18 when the expenditure touched Rs 117.76 crore.
In 2018-19, it however drastically dropped to Rs 45.54 crore only to grow by over four times in 2019-20 when it touched nearly Rs 200 crore.
When one takes 2020, the second highest amount spent after March on advertisement was in July when the expenditure touched Rs 45.94 crore only to drop to Rs 27.68 crore and Rs 19.64 crore in July and August respectively.
While not a single rupee was spent in May this year, as the government experienced a financial crunch due to Covid-19 lockdown, April saw the least advertisement bills at Rs 66 lakh. In June, the government had spent Rs 1.81 crore and in October 3.96 crore in October this year.
|Advertisement Expenditure of Delhi Govt|
Rs 11.18 crore
|2013-14||Rs 25.24 crore|
|2014-15||Rs 11.12 crore|
|2015-16||Rs 81.23 crore|
|2016-17||Rs 67.25 crore|
|2017-18||Rs 117.76 crore|
|2018-19||Rs 45.54 crore|
|2019-20||Rs 199.99 crore|
|2020-21||Rs 99.69 crore|
|Jan||Rs 15.32 crore|
|Feb||Rs 23.62 crore|
|March||Rs 103.76 crore|
|April||Rs 66 lakh|
|June||Rs 1.91 crore|
|July||Rs 45.94 crore|
|Aug||Rs 27.68 crore|
|Sept||Rs 19.64 crore|
|Oct||Rs 3.96 crore|