Government of India: Ministries

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The Times of India, March 17, 2016

Ministry-wise details of foreign travel expenses, 2012-15, year-wise; Graphic courtesy: The Times of India, March 17, 2016

Bharti Jain

Modi govt spent Rs 510 crore on foreign jaunts in 2014-15, LS told

The Narendra Modi government spent around Rs 510 crore on foreign travel by its officials in 2014-15, with the ministry of personnel, public grievances and pensions headed by the PM running the highest bill at Rs 351.6 crore. According to data furnished by minister of state for personnel Jitendra Singh in a written reply to a question in Lok Sabha, the home ministry spent Rs 30.2 crore on foreign travel last fiscal, the second highest for a ministrydepartment. The next three big spenders were department of space, ministry of civil aviation and tourism and Lok Sabha.

Interestingly , though the foreign travel bill of all ministries and departments during the last financial year was higher than in 2013-14, it was less than the total expenditure incurred on this head in 2012-13 (Rs 593 crore). UPA was in power during 2012-13, 2013-14 and the first two months of 2014-15.

A look at the data for the past three years shows that the ministry of personnel under then PM Manmohan Singh spent over Rs 453 crore in 2012-13, higher than the Rs 351crore spent in 2014-15. The ministries and departments that spent over Rs 1 crore on foreign tours last fiscal include commerce ministry; departments of economic affairs, atomic energy and science & technology; DoT; defence (services); defence accounts (civil); industry ministry; IT ministry; department of revenue; agriculture; planning; culture, I&B; labour; and health ministry .

Those which reported a major jump in their bills last year are the MHA, labour ministry , Rajya Sabha, I&B, youth affairs and sports as well as minority affairs. However, many showed a noticeable cut in their expenses in 2014-15 as compared to 2013-14. The ministry with the lowest bill was panchayati raj. Its expenses in 2014-15 were a mere Rs 35,650, down from Rs 4.83 lakh in 201314 and Rs 11.22 lakh in 2012-13.

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