Modi Spent Rs 1.4 Cr on 240 Non-Official Trips in 5 Years: Report
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has spent Rs 1.4 crore on his 240 “non-official domestic trips” from the start of his tenure as the prime minister till January 2019, according to information provided to Scroll.in by the Indian Air Force (IAF) under the Right to Information (RTI) Act.
The response mentioned the route taken and the amounts charged for each trip, without specifying the type of aircraft used. The information also did not break down the flying hours per trip.
Scroll.in, in the RTI application sent queries about the number of non-official domestic trips Modi took from May 2014 till January 2019, the expenditure incurred on these trips, the rates charged per trip, the relevant notification or order for the calculation of the charges, the number of payments received and the type of aircraft used.
The IAF sent its first response to Scroll.in on 25 March. In another response on 28 March, the IAF said that dates of the visits in the March 25 response “were erroneously typed in chronological order of dates due to typing error.” All other details remained unchanged.
In 2018, Assembly elections took place in states like Tripura, Meghalaya, Karnataka, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Mizoram, Rajasthan and Telangana.
According to the RTI response, in 2018, PM Modi made the highest number of non-official trips, completing 69 trips in 37 days, for which the IAF was paid a total of Rs 39.5 lakh.
Some Discrepancies in RTI Response
According to Scroll.in, the amounts cited for some trips were quite lower than practically possible.
One such trip cited by the media house was a Rs 744 trip of H/P Balangir-H/P Patharchera on 15 January 2019. Likewise, Rs 845 was the cost for a Chandigarh-Shimla-Annadale-Chandigarh trip on 27 April 2017.
Scroll.in wrote to the Prime Minister’s Office and the Defence Ministry and the IAF to clarify the procedures of the calculations, but did not get any response.
In the RTI response, as quoted by Scroll.in, the IAF said it received “all the payments” from BJP, made through cheque, demand drafts (DD) or real time gross settlement (RTGS) by the party through the PMO.”