The ministries of health, finance, and women and child development have spent upwards of Rs 200 crore in the same period.
The information and broadcasting ministry has spent over Rs 381 crore on advertisements in the last three years, as per figures provided to the Rajya Sabha. This makes it the ministry with the highest ad expenditure.
The health and family welfare ministry spent Rs 295 crore on ads from 2018-19 to 2020-21, the finance ministry Rs 240 crore, and the women and child development ministry about Rs 210 crore. The minority affairs ministry, in comparison, spent Rs 15 crore in the same period and the tribal affairs ministry about Rs 3.6 crore.
Asked if the government has taken any steps to “rationalise” and “minimise” its ad expenditure, the Bureau of Outreach and Communication informed the parliament’s Upper House that it has undertaken “various strategies” to rationalize advertisement expenditure, including “integrated campaign, theme-based campaigns, increased emphasis on low-cost advertisements on digital platforms, using less print space with focused content, better positioning of campaigns for target beneficiaries”.