Despite heavy criticism against Prime Minister Narendra Modi for being an “absentee PM”, his frequent trips abroad have been extremely economical, as per travel records revealed via an RTI query. According to documents released under the RTI Act, his office has spent Rs 37.22 crores in 16 foreign trips between June 2014-15. Information of four other trips he made during this period was not made available.
This is in contrast to an average of roughly Rs 58 crore spent by former PM Manmohan Singh in his 10-year tenure. This average has been calculated by dividing the Rs 699 crores Singh’s office spent in 10 years on foreign trips, and is not indicative of the exact expenditure in his first year.
After assuming office in May last year, PM Modi has visited 20 countries between June 2014 and June 2015. However, a retired commissioner Lokesh Batra, who had asked for the information under the RTI Act, was given access to the PM’s expenditure on only 16 trips, because Japan, Sri Lanka, France and South Korea denied giving him any information, reported The Times of India.