New Delhi (Agency): The opposition party, Congress, has accused the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of excessive spending on the recently concluded G20 Summit. According to Congress, the BJP-led government spent Rs 4,100 crore, which far exceeds the initially allocated budget of Rs 990 crore.
Senior Congress leader K.C. Venugopal took to social media to express his concerns. “The allocated budget for the G20 Summit was Rs 990 crore. The BJP government spent Rs 4,100 crore. After the COVID-19 pandemic, governments the world over have curtailed their spending on public events,” he wrote. Venugopal compared India’s spending with Indonesia, stating, “For context, Indonesia spent less than 10 per cent of India’s expenditure – a measly Rs 364 crore for the Bali Summit.”
Venugopal also criticized the government’s economic choices amid ongoing challenges. “This government that cannot ensure cheap LPG or petrol/diesel, refuses to compensate farmers who faced crop destruction, does not release adequate funds for restoration of flood-devastated Himachal Pradesh, has overshot the budget for this image-building exercise,” he added.
Moreover, he stated that the government’s actions are an attempt to cover up the “economic mess” it has created. “No number of beautification drives can hide the economic mess this government has spread across the country,” Venugopal said. He referenced a viral video showing water logging at Bharat Mandapam, the main venue for the G20 Summit, as evidence of wasted public funds.
The government’s Press Information Bureau (PIB) has countered these claims, calling them “exaggerated and misleading.” According to PIB, the G20 Summit was successful, with the African Union becoming a permanent member and the adoption of the New Delhi Declaration by consensus.
Despite the government’s stance, the debate over the Summit’s budget overshadows its accomplishments, raising questions about fiscal responsibility and economic priorities. With citizens struggling through the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, the spending on high-profile events like the G20 Summit is scrutinized more than ever.
As the country navigates a complex economic landscape, the public will undoubtedly keep a close eye on how the government allocates its resources. The clash between Congress and the BJP over the G20 Summit budget has ignited a broader conversation about financial accountability and governance in India.