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Almost ₹1,700 crore spent on advertisements in three years: Centre

The Central government on Tuesday told the Parliament that it spent almost ₹1,700 crore on advertisements in print and electronic media between 2018 and 2021.

Replying to a question by All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) lawmaker Badruddin Ajmal, information and broadcasting minister Anurag Thakur said the amount committed for advertisements by the government through print and electronic media during the period 2018-19 to 2020-21 was ₹1,698.98 crore.

“The primary objective of the government advertising is to create awareness of government policies and schemes among the intended beneficiaries including the population living in far flung and remote areas, through Print, Electronic & Outdoor Media,” said Thakur in a written statement.

The data shared by the ministry showed that the government spent a total of ₹826.5 crore on advertisements in newspapers. It said ₹118.59 crore was spent on advertisements in 6,085 newspapers in 2020-21, ₹200 crore in 5,365 newspapers in 2019-20 and ₹507.9 crore was spent on ads in 6,119 newspapers in 2018-19.

Thakur had earlier told the Parliament that the government has reduced spending on advertisements by reducing the size of non-communication advertisements like inviting tender or job vacancies and by giving only bare minimum information with links for further details.

The cost-cutting comes close after in response to a Right to Information (RTI) plea filed by activist Jatin Desai, the Bureau of Outreach and Communication said a cumulative of ₹1.95 crore was spent per day on advertisements in 2019-20. It included ₹295.05 crore spent on print advertisement, ₹317.05 crore on electronic media and ₹101.1 crore on outdoor advertisements in the form of hoardings and billboards.

Even though the Bureau made major reveals, it had failed to furnish information on the amount spent on advertisements in foreign media. Hindustan Times

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