New Delhi: The UPA-II government had spent nearly Rs 187 crore to publicise schemes under the ‘Bharat Nirman’ programme in the election year 2013-14. According to an RTI response by the Directorate of Advertising & Visual Publicity, the Manmohan Singh-led government spent Rs 186.98 crore in the election year 2013-14. Giving details of Bharat Nirman campaign of UPA-2, DAVP said in 2013-14, the election year, Rs 186.98 crore were spent whereas in 2012-13, the figure was 100.95 crore, 2011-12 it was Rs 86 crore and in 2010-11 it was Rs 47 crore.
However, the details of NDA government’s spending on ‘India Shining’ campaign were not available, according to DAVP, the nodal agency of government spending on advertisements. The DAVP said that it does not have records pertaining to expenses incurred on ‘India Shining’ campaign run in the election year in 2003-04 during the NDA government led by Atal Bihari Vajpayee. “Our campaign wing has intimated that records pertaining to the campaigns — India Shining and Mera Bharat Mahan — are no longer available with it. Computerisation of records was done from 2007 onwards,” the Central Public Information Officer of DAVP said.
The reply provided to RTI activist Subhash Agrawal said in view of the reasons cited, the Accounts Wing is not in a position to make available details in respect of expenditure incurred on the ‘India Shining’ campaign since it is not known to it if the campaign was an exclusive one and fund was exclusively earmarked for this campaign. “If the campaign was running in a mixed manner with other campaigns, then unless Release Order details are made available to Accounts Wing, it may not be in a position to provide information. The work, however, could be voluminous one because at that time records in Accounts Wing also were being maintained manually,” the response said.