Foreign Visits by the Prime Minister has been a subject of discussion especially after the Narendra Modi led BJP Government came to power. Amidst this, the information disclosed by the Prime Minister’s office reveals that the expenses incurred on foreign visits of former Prime Ministers A B Vajpayee was more than Rs 144 crore (in 5 years) while that of Manmohan Singh was more than Rs 699 crore (in 10 years)
Foreign Visits by the Prime Minister has been a subject of discussion especially after the Narendra Modi led BJP Government came to power. But little information was forthcoming about the expenses incurred on such visits. In a welcome move, the Union Government has now put in the public domain, the expensed incurred on foreign visits by former Prime Ministers Manmohan Singh & A B Vajpayee. It must be also be noted that this is not a new initiative. In 2012, the UPA government had asked all the ministries to proactively disclose the details of official tours of Ministers & high ranking officials.
Based on the information available on the PM’s website, more than 699 crore rupees were spent in 10 years on chartered flights for Manmohan Singh’s foreign visits, while more than 144 crore rupees were spent in 5 years on chartered flights for A B Vajpayee’s foreign visits. Details of expenses incurred on 5 visits undertaken by Manmohan Singh from September 2013 are still being processed and are not available. Expenses incurred on Narendra Modi’s foreign visits are still not available except for his Bhutan visit in June 2014. An amount of 2.45 crore rupees were spent on his Bhutan visit.
How many countries did Manmohan Singh & A B Vajpayee Visit?
|Name of the former PM||Term||Number of Countries Visited||Number of days spent in Foreign Visits|
|A B Vajpayee||NDA 1 (1999-2004)||31||131|
|Manmohan Singh||UPA 1 (2004-2009)||35||144|
|Manmohan Singh||UPA 2 (2004-2009)||38||161|
(Explanation: If a specific country is visited twice, it is counted as two visits)
Mr. A B Vajpayee spent a total of 131 days in foreign visits and visited 31 countries in his 5 year term while Mr. Manmohan Singh spent 144 days in foreign visits and visited 35 countries during his first term. In his second term, he spent 161 days in foreign visits and visited 38 countries. Both Vajpayee & Manmohan Singh spent maximum time visiting Asia followed by North America. Vajpayee spent 38% of the time visiting Asia while Manmohan Singh also spent about 39% time visiting Asia during his first term. In his second term, Manmohan Singh spent half the time visiting Asian Countries.
Amount Spent on Foreign Visits
The expenses on foreign visits of the Prime Minister are met out of the budget head “Cabinet Ministers – Foreign Travel Expenses” (Demand No. 54). The expenses incurred are on chartered flights for these foreign visits.
The total amount during Vajpayee’s term on foreign visits was Rs 144.43 crore. On the other hand, Manmohan Singh’s foreign visits costed a total of Rs 301.95 crore in his first term and Rs 397.35 crore in his second term. Though the number of countries visited and the number of days spent in foreign visits was not very different, the expenses incurred during Manmohan Singh’s first term were more than twice the expenses incurred during Vajpayee’s term as the Prime Minister between 1999 and 2004.
Average Amount spent per day of Visit & per Country
During Vajpayee’s term, an average of Rs 1.1 crore was spent per day of foreign visit while Rs 4.7 crore was spent per country of visit. These amounts doubled during Manmohan Singh’s first term with Rs 2.1 crore spent per day of visit and Rs 8.6 crore spent per country of visit. During Manmohan Singh’s second term, Rs 2.9 crore was spent per day of visit and Rs 12.8 crore was spent per country of visit.
Most Expensive & Least Expensive Visit