Rs 6,76,74,33,477 (Rs 676.7 crore, $107 million) was the cost what the nation incurred during the 73 foreign trips that Dr Manmohan Singh made as Prime Minister. The figure which was provided by the Prime Minister's Officer following an RTI query filed by Ramesh Chand Joshi, president of the Rashtra Rakshak Janmanch.
The reply from the PMO which reveals the details of the foreign visits made by Dr Singh during his tenure as Prime Minister also reveals that during his second term, 15 out of the 36 trips were made when Parliament was in session.
The RTI query which was filed got a response from the PMO. It was stated that in total an amount of Rs 6,76,74,33,477 was incurred when Dr Singh travelled abroad. He undertook a total of 73 foreign trips between 22 May 2004 and 17 May 2014.
During his second term that is under UPA-II, 15 out of the 36 trips abroad were made when the Parliament was in session. It may be recalled that the opposition at that time had mocked Dr Singh by referring to him as a non-resident Prime Minister.
It also can be noted that the BJP had pointed out that none of the earlier PM's had broken the tradition and travelled abroad when Parliament was in session.
While 65 of the trips have been billed, there are 8 more trips which are under process. The billed foreign trips had amounted to an approximate of Rs 670 crore, the response from the PMO states. The details of the trips are given in the fact sheet.
Dr Singh visited US the most
As per the fact sheet, Dr Singh made as many as six trips to the United States of America during his ten year tenure. The US remained the most important destination for Dr Singh and one may recollect that the Indo-US nuclear deal was also struck during his tenure.
Interestingly the visits to the neighbouring nations has been extremely less when compared to the other nations. Many could argue that the visits to Pakistan, Afghanistan, China and Sri Lanka could have been higher considering the amount of engagement that there is with India on a daily basis along the borders.
The highest expenditure that was incurred was Rs.26.94 crore during the 7 day visit to Mexico and Brazil in 2012. The second highest was a bill of Rs 22.7 crore incurred during the visit to USA and Brazil in 2010.
There is data also available on the foreign trips made by former Prime Minister, Atal Bihari Vajpayee. He made 35 foreign trips between 1999 and 2004 and it cost the exchequer Rs 185 crore.