An expenditure of Rs 1,484 crore was incurred on chartered flights, maintenance of aircraft and hotline facilities during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visits to 84 countries since June 20. The details of Modi’s foreign travel expenditure under the three heads were shared in the Rajya Sabha by Minister of State for External Affairs V K Singh. According to the data, a total of Rs 1088.42 crore was spent on maintenance of the prime minister’s aircraft and Rs 387.26 crore on chartered flights during the period between June 15, 2014 and June 10, 2018.
The total expenditure on hotline was Rs 9.12 crore.
Modi visited a total of 84 countries in 42 foreign trips since taking over as prime minister in May 2014.
The details provided by Singh did not include expenditure on hotline facilities during his foreign visits in 2017-18 and 2018-19. The cost of chartered flights for visits in 2018-19 was also not included.
According to Singh’s reply, the prime minister visited a maximum of 24 countries in 2015-16 followed by 19 in 2017-18 and 18 nations in 2016-17.
In 2014-15, Modi had visited 13 countries with first one as prime minister to Bhutan in June 2014. In 2018, he travelled to 10 countries with the last one being to China last month.
The cost for chartered flights to overseas destinations in 2014-15 was Rs 93.76 crore while in 2015-16, it was Rs 117 crore. In 2016-17, the cost was Rs 76.27 crore and in 2017-18, the expense on chartered flight was Rs 99.32 crore.
“Diplomatic outreach during this period (since May 2014) has included first ever visits from India to several countries at the head of government level,” Singh said.
He said the outreach has led to enhanced engagement of India’s foreign partners in its flagship programmes.