Skip to main content

RTI plea reveals: Official expenses during Modi's visit to US in September 2014 Rs 9 crore, but no MoUs signed

By Our Representative
A right to information (RTI) activist has calculated that several RTI requests filed to the Prime Minister's Office (PMO), including his own, suggest that Rs 9 crore were spent during Narendra Modi’s much-publicised US visit in September 2014. However, it did not lead to any concrete result -- the activist cites a Government of India document which says that "there were no memorandums of understanding signed during Modi's visit to the US."
Quoted by a news site, the RTI activist, who reportedly did not want to reveal his identity for unspecified reasons, says that he had filed his first request on December 14, 2014 seeking expenses incurred by Modi during his trip to New York and Washington DC.
In response, on February 23, 2015, the activist was told, "by the Prime Minister's Office, "In connection with the Prime Minister’s visit to New York during September 2014, this mission has booked an expenditure of Rs 5,09,66,491.”
The reply states that Modi had spent around Rs 5.1 crore in New York alone, when he visited the United Nations Organization. This made him to file another RTI plea on January 7, 2015, to which the PMO replied suggesting that the expenditure incurred by the Indian embassy Washington during PM’s visit to New York in September 2014 was close to Rs 1 crore.
The replied said, “On behalf of the Embassy of India, Washington DC, (the expense) was US $1,42,261.61 equivalent to INR 88,15,421 and the same has been debited to Emabassy of India, Washington DC.” Over and above this, the activist says, the Indian Embassy in Wasington "also paid over $5,000 or Rs 3,05,700 towards Prasar Bharti’s expenses, also reflected in the RTI reply."
In yet another reply, the activist claims, the PMO had "mentioned the expenditure of over Rs 3 crore during the same US visit, thereby taking the total cost to over Rs 9 crore", adding, however, "The real cost could have been much higher, but the PMO has ‘not been honest’ in divulging all the details."
The activist told the news site, Janta Ka Reporter, ”It’s been a painstaking process to get these information. They are very reluctant in divulging any expense information about the PM’s visit. I had requested for the total cost incurred on PM Modi’s visit till date and the number of MoU signed by him. Unfortunately, all I have got so far expense details on his New York trip, and that too in installments.”
In a reply preceding all these, the PMO, the activist said, "had clarified that Modi had ‘not signed any MoU’ during his US visit", adding, the however, the only thing which was widely reported about "Modi’s maiden US visit as India’s prime minister was his speech at Madison Square before an audience largely consisting of Indian diaspora."
It is not known what were the expenses of Modi's Madison Square show and who paid for him. A large number of those who attended the show were sent from India to the US for the programme organized by a section of the diaspora leaders.

Comments

TRENDING

ISKCON UK 'clarifies' after virus infects devotees, 5 die due to big temple meet

By Rajiv Shah
The International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON), United Kingdom (UK), has admitted that at least 21 of its devotees were infected because of the spread of the coronavirus amongst the UK devotee community following the March 12 funeral and March 15 memorial of the Bhaktivedanta Manor temple president, in which about 1,000 people participated. Regretting that five of the devotees have passed away, the top Hindu religious in Britain body does not deny more may have been infected.

Mallika Sarabhai releases speech she was 'not allowed' to give at NID Convocation on Feb 7

Counterview Desk
The National Institute of Design (NID) in Ahmedabad, a Ministry of Commerce and Industry body, landed itself in controversy following its decision to put off its 40th convocation ceremony, where noted danseuse Mallika Sarabhai was invited as chief guest. The ceremony was scheduled to be held on February 7.

As corona virus 'travels' to rural areas, NGO begins training tribals, marginalised women

By Souparno Chatterjee*
The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared corona virus a pandemic. Originating from Wuhan in China, it has traversed the entire globe, almost, and claimed more than 16,000 lives already. That’s largely the urban population. In India, despite all the preparedness and war-like promptness to safeguard against the pandemic, several lives have been lost , and hundreds of individuals have tested positive.

Rani Laxmi Bai, Tatya Tope 'martyred' by East India Company, Scindia's forefathers

By Our Representative
In an email alert to Counterview, well-known political scientist Shamsul Islam has said that was “shameful for any political party in democratic India to keep children of Sindhias in their flock” given their role during the First War of Indian Independence (1857). In a direct commentary on Madhya Pradesh Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia moving over to BJP, Prof Islam has quote from a British gazetteer to prove his point.

Modi, Shah 'forget': Gandhi’s first Satyagraha was against citizenship law of South Africa

By Nachiketa Desai*
Hindu fanatic Nathuram Godse assassinated Mahatma Gandhi once on January 30, 1948 but his followers raising the war cry of ‘Jai Sriram’ are killing the Mahatma every day. In his home state of Gujarat, Gandhiji was killed a thousand times in 2002 when over 2,000 Muslims were butchered, their women raped, homes and shops plundered and set on fire and even unborn babies ripped out of the wombs of their mothers.

COVID-19: Dalit rights bodies regret, no relief plan yet for SCs, STs, marginalized

By Our Representative
In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the National Dalit Watch-National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights, endorsed* by several other Dalit rights organizations, have insisted, the Government of India should particular care of the scheduled castes and tribes, trans folks, persons with disabilities and the women and children from these communities, while fighting against COVID-19 pandemic.

Coronavirus scare ‘pushing’ people from Northeast India into more hardship

By Rishiraj Sinha, Biswanath Sinha*
“No one is born hating another person because of the colour of his skin, or his background or his religion. People learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.” – Nelson Mandela
***

Gujarat govt plan to 'banish' Gandhian activist anti-democratic, unconstitutional

By Rohit Prajapati*
The current Central and Gujarat governments, and their bureaucracy, have been and are still unable to answer and address the concerns raised, with facts, figures, and constitutional provisions, regarding the terror of tourism in the name of the Statue of Unity and tourism projects surrounding it.

Gujarat construction workers walk home as Rs 2,900 crore welfare fund lies unused

By Our Representative
Situated behind the Gujarat University, some of the families of the migrant construction workers from Dahod and Panchmahals districts of Gujarat, and a few from Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, who had stayed put in make-shift shanties in Ahmedabad’s sprawling GMDC Ground, have begun a long journey, by foot, back to their home villages in the eastern tribal belt of Gujarat.