The G20 summit, held in New Delhi, concluded on Sunday, marking the end of India’s presidency for the summit. It was nothing short of a grand affair, with Delhi adorned like a newlywed bride. This summit hosted top world leaders, including US President Joe Biden, UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, and Italy Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, to name a few.
Hosting such a grand event naturally incurred significant costs, and the staggering amount of 4,100 crore rupees is bound to raise eyebrows and questions from opposition leaders. Gokhale, the national spokesperson of TMC, asserted that the fund allocated for the G20 summit in the last Union Budget was only Rs 990 crore, highlighting a substantial overspending by the government.
According to the 2023-24 budget, the government had initially allocated Rs 990 crore for the G20 presidency. However, a document posted by Union Minister Meenakshi Lekhi on X revealed that over Rs 4,100 crore was spent on Delhi in preparation for the G20 summit, with costs incurred by both Delhi and central government agencies. A separate post by Trinamool Congress MP Saket Gokhale claimed that the government spent 300 percent more on the G20 summit than the funds allocated in the budget.
In a show of solidarity with its alliance bloc partner, the Congress also criticized PM Modi for overspending on what they called a ‘show-off.’ Their video accused PM Modi of diverting extra funds for his election campaign, concealing the city’s impoverished population, and making extravagant arrangements for the guests, including silver and gold-plated tableware.
However, the central government defended its spending by stating that the amount was invested in permanent asset creation by the India Trade Promotion Organisation (ITPO) at Pragati Maidan and other infrastructure development, extending beyond the mere hosting of the G20 Summit.
To address the misinformation and clarify the facts, the Press Information Bureau published a Fact Check post, refuting the claims as ‘misleading.’ The post emphasized that the quoted expenditure primarily pertained to permanent asset creation by ITPO and other infrastructure development, with a broader scope than just hosting the G20 Summit.
On the second day of the summit in Delhi, Saket Gokhale alleged flooding at the summit venue, questioning the utilization of the 4,000 crore G20 fund. However, the PIB contested this claim, stating that there was no flooding, only minor waterlogging in open areas due to heavy rain, which was promptly resolved.
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