Over ₹239 crore spent on Prime Minister Modi’s 29 foreign tours in three and half years

Due to Covid19 pandemic, after his trip to Brazil in November 2019, Prime Minister did not travel for one and half years.

BySumit Jha

Published Dec 09, 2022 | 11:58 AM Updated Dec 09, 2022 | 11:58 AM

PM Modi foreign tours

The Ministry of External Affairs on Thursday, 8 December, said that around ₹239 crore had been spent on 29 foreign visits of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the last five years, of which one-and-a-half years saw restriction on foreign travel due to Covid-19 pandemic.

Answering CPI(M) MP from Kerala Elamaram Kareem, Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan in Rajya Sabha said that a total of ₹ 239,04,08,625 was spent on the prime minister’s foreign visit between 12 November, 2018, and 16 November, 2022.

After he took a break following the Covid-19 pandemic, after his trip to Brazil in November 2019, Modi resumed his foreign visits in March 2021 with a visit to Bangladesh.

The prime minister, in the last five years, has been on 36 foreign tours of which the expenditure of only 29 tours have been put forward in Parliament by V Muraleedharan.

No details on 7 trips

However, for the remaining seven tours, the minister said in three foreign tours the expenditure was met by the budget head of the Ministry of Home Affairs and for three others, the prime minister traveled by IAF BBJ Aircraft.

The expenditure of the 16 May, 2022, tour to Nepal has not been provided by the ministry.

“The objective of the prime minister’s visits abroad has been to foster closer relations with foreign countries and promote India’s engagement at the regional and global levels. Such visits are an important means by which India serves its national interest and implements foreign policy objectives,” said Muraleedharan in Parliament.

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He added that these visits have enhanced his understanding of India’s perspectives on regional and global issues among foreign partners at the highest level.

“Understandings reached during these visits have enabled India to strengthen relations with partner-countries and put forward India’s viewpoint and shape the global agenda on global issues such as reformed multilateralism, climate change, transnational crime, terrorism, cyber-security, etc,” added Muraleedharan.

During his foreign visits, the prime minister is accompanied by at least three delegates. Out of 36 times, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval has toured 30 times, while External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar has toured three times as a foreign Secretary and 10 times as external affairs minister.

Howdy, Modi! in September 2019

The highest amount of money was spent during Prime Minister Modi’s visit to the US between 21 and 28 September, 2019. During the visit, an amount of  ₹23,27,09,000 was spent.

In this week-long tour, nine delegates had also visited along with him.

It is pertinent to note that, in this tour, Modi participated in the “Howdy, Modi!” rally in which he endorsed former US president Donald Trump.

Again, his November 2019 visit to Brazil also billed more than ₹20 crore for four days.

The prime minister’s visit to France, Bahrain and UAE in August 22-27, 2019, cost around ₹15 crore, his visit to Rwanda, Uganda and South Africa in July 23-28, 2018, cost more than ₹14 crore, his visit to Davos, Switzerland, in January 22-23, 2018, cost more than ₹13 crore.