New Delhi: For Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the second edition of the International Day of Yoga held last week wasn’t just about flying to Chandigarh to perform yoga along with an estimated 30,000 people, it also translated into a 54% increase in government advertisement spending in the run-up to the event compared to a year ago.
The National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government spent Rs.10 crore across all media—print, radio, television, outdoor and digital—to promote the International Day of Yoga on 21 June, according to data from the Directorate of Audio Visual Publicity (DAVP), the nodal agency used for advertising by various government ministries and departments. These advertising spends stood at Rs.6.5 crore last year. The celebrations featured a demonstration of the ancient spiritual and physical discipline by tens of thousands of people, led by PM Modi.
In his address, Modi pitched for treating diseases like diabetes through the discipline. His cabinet colleagues led similar programmes around the country.
Besides Yoga Day, the Modi-led government has put its publicity machinery behind initiatives like Start-up India, Digital India, Skill India and their most popular Swachh Bharat and Jan Dhan Yojana.
“In the coming months the government will focus its advertising money towards schemes like Swachh Bharat, social security schemes, Mudra Bank and skill development,” said a government official, who declined to be named.
According to DAVP data, the government has spent Rs.842.89 crore on publicity in the financial year 2015-16 till 29 February 2016, out of which Rs.353.31 crore was spent on electronic media advertisements. This is already an increase from FY15, when the government spent a total of Rs.750 crore on advertising.