Mumbai/Nagpur – The Directorate General of Information and Public Relations has informed RTI activist Anil Galgali that Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray’s Mahavikas Aghadi Government has spent Rs 155 crore on publicity campaigns in the last 16 months. About Rs 5.99 crore has been spent on social media. The Thackeray government is spending Rs 9.6 crore every month on publicity campaigns.
Anil Galgali, an RTI activist, had sought information from the Directorate General of Information and Public Relations on various expenditure incurred on the campaign since the formation of the Mahavikas Aghadi government.The Directorate General of Information and Public Relations provided Anil Galgali with information on the expenditure incurred on the campaign in the 16 months from 11 December 2019 to 12 March 2021. MVA Government has spent Rs 20.31 crore in 2019, with the highest expenditure of Rs 19.92 crore on regular vaccination campaigns.
In the year 2020, a total of Rs 104.55 crore was spent on publicity campaigns of 26 departments. 5.96 crore has been spent on the publicity campaign on the occasion of Women’s Day. 9.99 crore has been spent on Padam department, 19.92 crore on National Health Mission, 22.65 crore on special publicity campaign in 4 phases. The cost of Rs 1.15 crore has been shown on social media. 6.49 crore has been spent on Maharashtra Urban Development Mission in 3 phases.The Disaster Management Department has spent Rs 9.42 crore on the nature hurricane, of which Rs 2.25 crore has been shown on social media.The state health education department has spent Rs 18.63 crore. 20.65 lakh has been spent on the publicity campaign of Shivbhojan and 5 lakh has been shown on social media.
In the year 2021, 12 departments have spent Rs 29.79 crore till March 12, 2021. Once again, the state health education department has spent Rs 15.94 crore.1.88 crore has been spent on Jal Jeevan Mission’s publicity campaign and Rs. 45 lakh has been spent on social media. The Department of Women and Child Development has shown an expenditure of Rs 20 lakh on social media at a cost of Rs 2.45 crore. The Minorities Department has spent Rs 48 lakh out of Rs 50 lakh on social media. The public health department has spent Rs 3.15 crore on 75 lakh social media.
According to Anil Galgali, the figure could be higher as the Directorate General of Information and Public Relations does not have 100 per cent information. Expenditure made in the name of social media is questionable. Apart from that, the calculation of the expenditure shown under the name of Creative is giving rise to various doubts.
In a letter to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, Anil Galgali has demanded that the government should upload the expenditure incurred at the departmental level, the nature of the expenditure and the name of the beneficiary on the website.