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Last Updated : Aug 10, 2018 08:24 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

BJP’s advertising expenditure could sponsor mid-day meals for 4.5 crore kids for a year

From Rs 980 crore in 2014-15, the expenditure has gone up to Rs 1,314 crore in 2017-18, which is a 34 percent jump

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A BJP advertisement on e-payment transactions
A BJP advertisement on e-payment transactions

Public relations, in today's day and age, plays a decisive role in politics. A clear indicator of this is the amount of money the Bharatiya Janata Party-led NDA government has spent on its own publicity over the last 52 months. It is almost twice the amount spent by the previous UPA government in 37 months, and it continues to rise.

According to data provided by Rajyavardhan Rathore, Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Information and Broadcasting, the BJP government spent a whopping Rs 4,880 crore on advertising its flagship schemes between April 2014 and July 2018.

The Congress-led UPA government spent Rs 2,048 crore between March 2011 and March 2014, a response to an RTI query stated.

The quantum of the BJP government’s expenditure is easier to understand when pitted against other projects where the money could have been used. According to an IndiaSpend report, with the same amount of money, the following could have been achieved:

  • 4.57 crore children could have been provided with the midday meal scheme for a year

  • 59.8 lakh new latrines could have been built under Swachh Bharat Mission

  • 20.6 crore people could have been employed under MNREGS for one day

  • Funds for repair and maintenance of national highways for 2018-19 could have been boosted by 67 percent

  • 920.75 megawatt more solar power could have been generated — enough to power a city roughly the size of Chandigarh for four hours

  • 10 more Mars missions could have been launched successfully. ISRO launched the Mars Orbiter Mission, or Mangalyaan, at Rs 450 crore.

  • The Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan, the secondary level education mission, could have received Rs 667 crore more than the allotted Rs 4,214 crore in this year’s Budget

  • Funds for All India Institutes for Medical Sciences (AIIMS) could have been boosted in the same time period. Since 2014, Rs 4,365 crore has been spent on setting up of 20 proposed institutions, of which only six are complete and functioning.

Breakdown of BJP’s total advertisement expenditure

Of the Rs 4,880 crore that the NDA spent on publicity, Rs 292 crore was spent on advertising four public schemes in three years — Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana for crop insurance, Swachh Bharat Mission, Smart City Mission and Saansad Adarsh Gram Yojana.

Expenditure on audio-visual ads was Rs 468 crore and outdoor publicity spend was Rs 208 crore. Print ads made for Rs 636 crore of the total expenditure.

From Rs 980 crore in 2014-15, the expenditure reached Rs 1,314 crore in 2017-18, which is a 34 percent rise.
First Published on Aug 10, 2018 08:24 pm
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