New Delhi, June 8: The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) lashed out at Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal led Delhi government for spending public money ‘unnecessarily’ on advertisement. Calling Aam Aadmi Party-government’s spending of Rs 18.47 crore on nationwide ad campaign on its first anniversary “unjustified”, “irregular” and against the “basic financial tenets of public expenditure”, the CAG accused Kejriwal-administration of wasting public money.

The CAG in its report said that AAP-government should have focused on people of Delhi rather than giving advertisements in different city editions of national newspapers and regional newspapers for its first anniversary in February. “Delhi government is answerable to the taxpayer of Delhi and should target the people of Delhi through advertisements. Advertisements all over India show imprudent expenditure of the Delhi taxpayer money,” the report stated. (ALSO READ: Arvind Kejriwal writes to Rajnath Singh, takes on Narendra Modi)

The CAG also criticised Kejriwal-government for “unfruitful” expenditure of Rs.33.52 lakh by publishing Hindi advertisements in English newspapers highlighting its various schemes, initiatives and programmes. In order to highlight its achievements in one year, Delhi government had spent Rs.11.93 crore for city editions of national newspapers and Rs.6.54 crore for regional ones.

To mark its first year in power, AAP-government incurred an expenditure of Rs.14.42 crore on advertisements in different editions of 26 national newspapers between February 14and 17 this year. Of this, Rs.2.49 crore was spent on Delhi editions, while the remaining Rs.11.93 crore went to advertorials for other cities in the country.

Besides that, Rs.6.54 crore was spent for advertorials in regional newspapers. These figures could go up since files related to other regional language newspapers, national Hindi, English, Urdu newspapers and electronic media and regional channels are yet to be scrutinised.

AAP’s response:

However AAP-government has faced criticism for spending tax payers’ money on advertisement, but the party has maintained the stand that all guidelines were followed and documents are in place.