The Centre spent approximately Rs 38 lakh on the 36-hour State visit by former US President Donald Trump in 2020 in accommodation, meals, logistics etc, the External Affairs Ministry has told the Central Information Commission.
On his maiden visit to India, Trump accompanied by his wife Melania, daughter Ivanka, son-in-law Jared Kushner and several top officials had visited Ahmedabad, Agra, and New Delhi on 24-25 February 2020.
He had spent three hours in Ahmedabad on 24 February during which he attended a 22-km-long roadshow, paid tributes to Mahatma Gandhi at the Sabarmati Ashram, and addressed a mega gathering ‘Namaste Trump’ with Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the newly built Motera Cricket Stadium.
Trump later flew to Agra on the same day to visit Taj Mahal.
He visited the national capital on 25 February where he held bilateral talks with Modi.
One Mishall Bhathena in an RTI had sought to know from the External Affairs Ministry the total expenses incurred by the Indian government during the visit of the President and First Lady of the United States of America in February 2020, including the expense on food, security, housing, flights, transport, etc.
Bhathena who had filed the application on 24 October 2020, did not receive any response following which he filed a first appeal and later approached the Commission, the highest appellate authority in RTI matters.
The EAM gave a submission to the Commission on 4 August 2022 citing COVID-19 for the delay in furnishing a response.
“Expenditure by host nations on incoming State Visits by Heads of State/Heads of Government is a well-established practice and in accordance with internationally accepted norms.
“In this context, the Government of India incurred certain expenses on accommodation, meals, logistics in connection with the State Visit to India by the US President Donald J Trump to India from 24-25 February. The expenditure is estimated at Rs 38,00,000 approximately,” the submission said.
After going through submissions, Chief Information Commissioner Y K Sinha said the ministry has explained the cause of delay in furnishing the reply satisfactorily.
“The Appellant has chosen not to buttress his case despite service of hearing notice. Hence the cause of dissatisfaction of the Appellant with the information provided cannot be ascertained,” Sinha said.