[Prime Minister Narendra Modi at Ganga Talao during his visit to Mauritius in March 2015. (File Photo)]
Mumbai: Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is accused of being more on foreign tours than in India, incurred a staggering Rs. 2.66 crore expenses on his tours to Mauritius and Seychelles in March 2015, information sought under the Right to Information (RTI) Act said.
In reply to the RTI query filed by Salim Beg, the Ministry of External Affairs, East & Southern Africa Division said the amount spent on Prime Minister Modi's Seychelles visit on 10-11 March 2015 is Rs.1,28,61,928.
The reply also said that the amount spent on Prime Minister Modi's Mauritius visit on March 11-12 2015 stands at Rs.1,37,92,690, according to the Ministry of External Affairs, East & Southern Africa Division.
The total amount to Prime Minister Modi's tour to the two countries made back-to-back stands at a staggering Rs.2,66,54,618.
Narendra Modi has traveled extensively in his first year in office, logging more flying miles than his ministers.
In response to another RTI application filed by Times of India, the PMO said Narendra Modi made eight foreign trips in 2014, of which he spent a maximum of five days in the US.
The reply to the TOI RTI query said Modi had spent four days each in Brazil, Australia and Nepal followed by Japan (three days), Myanmar (two days), Bhutan and Fiji (one day each) in 2014.
Nepal is the foreign country which Modi visited twice -- from August 3 to 5, (state visit) and from November 25 to 27 (to attend the SAARC summit).
Of the 220 days in office last year (from May 26, 2014 to December 31, 2014), Modi was in a foreign country once in nine days since he became the Prime Minister.
According to the revised budgetary estimates, Narendra Modi government in its first yearincurred a travel bill of Rs 317 crore - about Rs 59 crore more than the Rs 258 crore the UPA-II cabinet had spent in its last year in office (2013-14).
This travel bill includes expenditure on travel by cabinet ministers, ministers of state and ex-PMs and maintenance of aircraft used by VVIPs: the ones used by Prime Minister, President and Vice President.
During foreign tours, Modi, who belongs to BJP - a right-wing Hindu party, makes sure that he also visits a temple - something his opponents said not proper since the prime minister represents a secular democratic country.
In India, poverty is widespread. According to United Nation's Millennium Development Goal (MGD) programme 270 millions or 21.9% people out of 1.2 billion of Indians lived below poverty line of $1.25 in 2011-2012. Against this backdrop, sending huge money on foreign tours is surprising.