How Much Do PM Modi’s Foreign Trips Cost? PMO Asked to Reveal

PMO website on 13 September 2016 was showing that the bills are under process for payment or have not been received.

2 min read
Hindi Female

The CIC has directed the PMO to produce one representative file related to foreign travels of the Prime Minister after the top office refused an RTI applicant access to these documents citing safety concerns.

Commodore (Retd) Lokesh Batra had sought these details to assess the expenditure incurred on foreign travels of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, which the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) had denied citing sections of the RTI related to security and personal safety.

Chief Information Commissioner Radha Krishna Mathur directed the MEA to peruse the files to ascertain whether there was any security concerns in the records on the basis of which information can be denied.

The Commission observed that without perusal of the file, it cannot be decided that whether the sought for information contains security related information.
Radha Krishna Mathur, Chief Information Commissioner

Batra stated before the Commission that the case involves substantive public interest as the bailout amount, reported to be in thousands of crores of rupees, being given to Air India is the money of tax payers.

Batra referred to his RTI application and stated that he was seeking information on four points regarding details of expenses incurred on air travel in respect of foreign visits of the incumbent prime minister and former prime ministers, the laid down instructions, process/procedure/steps involved in charting flights for PM’s foreign visits and later filing ‘flight returns’ and raising bills/invoices and clearing bills on completion of the visit, copy of bills, etc.

Batra told the commission that the PMO website as on 13 September 2016 was showing that the bills are under process for payment or have not been received for journeys undertaken by the PM during the period between 15 June 2014 and 8 September 2016.

He said there is a need for reforms by understanding the causes of long delays in payments to Air India.

In its response, the Ministry had told Batra that the records pertaining to flights of the PM contain information which has security issues and hence it is exempted from disclosure under section 8(1)(g) of the RTI Act.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)


Read Latest News and Breaking News at The Quint, browse for more from news and politics

Speaking truth to power requires allies like you.
Become a Member
3 months
12 months
12 months
Check Member Benefits
Read More