Hyderabad: From customized sky balloon advertising to celebrating the visit of Ivanka Trump, daughter of US President Donald Trump, Telangana government has spent a whopping Rs 310.70 crores on publicity(advertisement) from June 2014 to October 2018.
In an RTI response by Society for Safety of Public and Good Governance, a Hyderabad based independent body it was revealed that the state government has spent Rs 310,70,97,327 on advertisements and publicity including hoardings, television channels, and FM radios between June 2014 and October 2018.
A breakup the total expenditure on advertisement shows, the Telangana government has spent Rs 190,80,37,065 on outdoor media, while Rs 119,90,60,262 has been spent on Television. In an RTI reply, the government has given details about the money spent on publicity since 2014.
In the first year of government in 2014-15, the Telangana government spent only Rs 2.83 crore on outdoor publicity and Rs 1.20 crore on television advertisements. It increased the publicity budget steadily every year. In 2015-16, the government spent Rs 27.12 crore on outdoor publicity, while Rs 4.03 crores on television advertisements.
In 2016-17, the money spent on outdoor publicity increased to Rs 44.46 crores, while the television advertisement increased to Rs 33.68 crores. In 2017-18, the outdoor advertisement expenditure was doubled to Rs 87.16 crores, while the television advertisement went up to Rs 39.40 crores.
The first term of the Telangana government was ending in June 2019. However, it was dissolved the assembly in December 2018. Before ending the first term, the government had spent Rs 70.8 crores on advertisements.
Out of the total, Rs 29.20 was spent from March 22, 2018, to October 6, 2018, on outdoor media, while Rs 41.59 crores were spent on television advertisements from April 2018 to October 26, 2018.
After the formation of the state in 2014, the government spent Rs 1,18,46,840 to publicize Telangana formation Day and swearing-in ceremony.
The biggest advertising expenditure was on publicizing government development and welfare schemes, and flagship programmes.
The government also spent money on publicizing different festivals such as Bonalu, Bathukamma, Ramzan, etc.
Some of these advertisements were about praising the government for winning some awards as well as the successful agreement with different governments on water projects. In 2015, the government advertised about winning CNN IBN Indian of the year. The government spent Rs 20,29,125 on hoardings for winning the award that year.
Apart from regional television channels, the government also advertised on national channels such as CNBC TV18, India Today, Aaj Tak, NDTV etc.