Guwahati, Dec 15: Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi's official overseas trips to 18 countries since assuming office in 2001 cost the state exchequer Rs 43,44,353 but yielded just one MoU, the Assam Government has revealed.
Replying to a question on behalf of the chief minister, state Agriculture Minister Nilamoni Sen Deka gave a detailed account of the expenditure on the CM's trips in the state assembly on the first day of the five-day winter session here Monday.
He said Gogoi officially visited 18 countries till last November.
"The chief minister has visited Singapore, Indonesia, Vietnam, Canada, UK (Britain), Italy, Sri Lanka, the US, China, Switzerland, France, Bhutan, Spain, Bangladesh, Belgium, South Korea, Japan and Thailand," the minister said.
Deka, however, added that only one Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between The Earth Institute, Columbia University (US), and the Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA) could be signed during the chief minister's tours.
The minister said apart from these official visits, the chief minister visited some other countries but at his personal expense.
Giving the details of Gogoi's foreign tours, Deka said the chief minister visited Indonesia and Singapore in 2004 at a cost of Rs.1,55,466.
Gogoi visited Canada, Britain and Italy in 2006 and the cost was about Rs.6,72,286 followed by another visit to Sri Lanka the same year, costing about Rs.75,231.
"In 2007, the chief minister visited the UK and made two visits to USA, costing the state exchequer Rs.8,76,176," Deka said, adding that the chief minister visited China twice in 2008, costing about Rs.18,900.
Gogoi visited South Korea, Spain, Belgium, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Britain, Switzerland and France in 2011, costing the state exchequer Rs.11,10,129.
He visited the US, Japan and Vietnam, which cost Rs.9,51,131. He also visited Thailand, Britain, and Singapore, costing Rs.4,85,054, the minister added.