The state government is set to complete four years in office in two weeks.
Mumbai: The Maharashtra government will be spending Rs 17.15 crore on promoting and advertising its schemes and publicity material to be distributed among citizens in six months. The sanction for the amount comes at a time when the state government is set to complete four years in office within the next two weeks and the possibility of elections in the first quarter of 2019 is looming large.
For the past one week, the state government has come up with eight government resolutions (GRs) clearing an expenditure of Rs 17.15 crore on advertising. This money will be spent on production and circulation on government and private television channels, radio stations, state transport buses, theatres etc. These GRs mention that the money will be spent from October 2018 to March 2019.
Interestingly, the provision has been made at a time when the code of conduct is likely to be applied by the Central Election Commission for the Lok Sabha elections. Therefore, it is being seen more as the government’s efforts to woo voters in the last leg before the elections.
The GRs says that Rs 64 lakh will be spent on the government’s messages in theatres; Rs 1 crore on television channels; Rs 1.64 crore on LED screens in state transport buses; Rs 2 lakh for each of the 93 special episodes on Sahyadri, a government-owned channel; Rs 2.06 crore on FM channels; and Rs 3.40 crore on private TV channels. An additional Rs 5.25 crore will be spent on broadcasting publicity material on government-owned TV and radio channels.
“The money to be spent is from the budget for the department and we are not making excessive expenditure on the advertisements. The information about schemes has to reach the exact beneficiaries and the publicity of schemes has been planned accordingly,” said Brijesh Singh, an officer who heads the state’s publicity directorate.