PM flight costs: 378 cr spent on chartered flights

PM flight costs: 378 cr spent on chartered flights

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s foreign visits have cost the state exchequer a whopping Rs 378 crore only on hiring chartered flights.

His trip to France, Germany and Canada in April 2015, during which the controversial defence deal for purchase of 36 Rafale fighter jets was signed, was the costliest travel involving Rs 31.26 crore.

According to data available with the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), chartered flights were arranged on Modi’s 44 international trips, since he took charge on May 26, 2014. However, the data is available only till his Switzerland trip, which took place between January 22 and January 23, 2018.

Since the Switzerland trip, the Modi has undertaken nine international trips, whose charges have not been made available on the PMO website. Of these nine trips, for two trips bills are still under process, for six trips the bills have not been received yet, while during his latest visit to Nepal, Modi travelled in IAF’s BBJ Aircraft, the data shows.

The prime minister’s second costliest trip was to Myanmar, Australia and Fiji in November 2014.

For this trip, the government spent Rs 22.59 crore, and this was followed by his July 2014 trip to Brazil, costing Rs 30.35 crore.

During his December 2015 trip to Russia and Afghanistan, in which Modi made an unplanned stopover in Pakistan, the expenses were Rs 8.14 crore.

Least costliest trip

The least costliest trip of the prime minister has been his first international trip to Bhutan in June 2014, in which he spent Rs 2.45 crore on the chartered flights.

The expenses on foreign tours of prime minister are met out of the budget head “Cabinet Ministers — Maintenance of PM’s aircraft — Other charges” under Demand Number 47, while the expenses on domestic visits of the prime minister are met out of the budget of ministry of defence.

In July this year, during reply to a question in the Rajya Sabha, it was stated that during the past four years, the prime minister’s foreign visits have cost the exchequer Rs 1,484 crore.

In contrast, Prime Minister Modi’s predecessor, Manmohan Singh, spent Rs 642 crore, less than half this amount in the ten years that he was prime minister.

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