CAG raps AAP government for ad spends

New Delhi,(IANS) The Delhi government spent 86 per cent of the total budget for its media campaign celebrating completion of AAP’s one year in power on full-page ads, TV clips and advertorials outside the national capital, a CAG report has found.

The report tabled in the assembly on Friday said the expenditure on advertisements outside Delhi in February last year, amounting to Rs 28.71 crore, was beyond the responsibility of the Delhi government.

“Over 85 per cent of expenditure of Rs 33.40 crore incurred in one specific publicity campaign pertained to advertisements released outside Delhi which was beyond the responsibility of the Delhi government,” it said.

The auditor said that another Rs 24.29 crore, incurred on advertisements and publicity campaigns, were in violation of financial propriety and Supreme Court regulations.

It also pointed out that the AAP government conducted no prior exercise to identify target audiences or conducted any post-campaign impact assessment.

The audit report also pulled up the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government for using “non-verifiable” content in advertisements.

The CAG said the government, in one of the TV clips telecast in February 2016, claimed to have built a dispensary at cost of Rs 20 lakh which used to cost Rs 5 crore during earlier governments.

“However, the relevant file in DIP (Directorate of Information and Publicity) contained neither any evidence in support of the claim made in the TV clip nor any documents indicating that the contents were provided by the respective department,” the report said.

It added that in response to an audit query, the Directorate of Health Services said no new dispensary was constructed during 2015-16.

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal called the report politically-motivated and accused the auditor of only targeting the AAP government.

“(The) CAG is indulging in politics. I would be happy if it points out flaws in our work and we will correct them. But it is not right if it only audits our finances but not of the other states,” Kejriwal said.

On the issue of releasing advertisements outside Delhi, Kejriwal said there was nothing wrong with telling people outside Delhi about the work done by the government.

“We gave advertisements outside Delhi and would continue to do so,” the Chief Minister said.

“There was a time when CAG exposed 2G and Commonwealth scams, but now it is indulging in politics and telling us if we should issue advertisements outside Delhi or not.”

Medaram Jathara

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