New Delhi: A whopping over Rs 1,500 crore was spent by various central government ministries on foreign travel during the last three years, the Lok Sabha was informed.
Of the total of Rs 1,537 crore spent by ministries, a total of Rs 509.91 crore was during 2014-15, Rs 434.94 crore in 2013-14 and Rs 593.09 crore during 2012-13, Minister of State for Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions Jitendra Singh said in a written reply.
Among the 62 ministries which spent the amount, the highest of Rs 351.65 crore was spent alone by Ministry of Personnel in last fiscal and Rs 289.92 crore in 2013-14 and Rs 453.95 crore during 2012-13, he said.
The home ministry had spent Rs 30.24 crore in 2014-15 and Rs 14.13 crore during 2013-14.
Commerce ministry, and Civil Aviation and Tourism ministries spent Rs 6.95 crore and Rs 9.45 crore last fiscal on foreign travel, the Minister said.
Singh said as many as 15 officers were on foreign deputation last year. Of them, seven were from Ministry of External Affairs, five from Department of Economic Affairs and one each from Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs (which is now under foreign ministry), Civil Aviation Ministry and Department of Commerce, he said.
As per the latest instructions issued by Department of Expenditure, not more than four official visits abroad in a calender year and such trips shall not exceed five working days.
The size of delegation has to be kept to the absolute minimum and participation of officials in international fairs, exhibitions, workshops and conference shall be discouraged, it said.