India

Modi's foreign visits: A look at the PM's travel patterns and expenses

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on his first international visit to Bhutan in 2014 | File photo

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on his first international visit to Bhutan in 2014 | File photo

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will add two more countries to the list of 84 nations he has visited over the past four years, when he flies to Africa next week .

The Prime Minister will first head to Rwanda, Uganda and then to South Africa for the annual BRICS summit.

A reply to a question asked during Rajya Sabha Question Hour revealed that in the past four years, the Prime Minister's foreign visits have cost the exchequer ₹1,484 crore. In contrast, Mr. Modi's predecessor, Manmohan Singh, spent ₹642 crore , less than half this amount in the nine years that he was Prime Minister.

The expenses include chartered flights, aircraft maintenance and hotline facilities, and does not include accommodation and other expenses. His most expensive trip (among trips for which bills were presented) was his April 2015 trip to France, Germany and Canada, for which the chartered flight and hotline facility alone cost nearly ₹32 crore.

The chart below takes a look at the flight and hotline facility expenses since he took office.

 

(Figures in ₹crore. Numbers don't include hotline charges for the past two years and flight expenses for this year)

A look at the data indicates that Mr. Modi has been on international trips for about 171 days in the last four years (About 12% of the total time as Prime Minister). Mr. Modi has visited China and the U.S. five times (the highest). He flew to the U.S. twice in 2016-17 and has visited China twice this year.

 

If patterns are anything to go by, the Prime Minister's schedule is usually packed in July and November --  when the BRICS and East Asia Summits are held.

The following heat map shows which months the Prime Minister has traveled abroad the most, in terms of number of days.

image/svg+xmlMonth20142015201620172018JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec00000547804203050595000000040572330031207292695000131685200000

(Numbers in the above chart indicate the number of days toured in a particular month. Darker the shade, more the number of days. Number for July 2018 includes his upcoming trip to Africa)

In his reply in the Rajya Sabha, Minister of State for the Ministry of External Affairs General (Retd.) V. K. Singh pointed out that "the objective of PM’s visits abroad has been to enhance mutual understanding and to strengthen our relations with these countries across a wide range of sectors including trade, investment, technology, development partnership and to enhance people-to-people ties".

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Printable version | Oct 3, 2022 2:36:15 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/modi-foreign-visits/article24481914.ece