Expenditure incurred on dinner party at PM’s residence revealed under RTI
Reply to an application under the Right to Information (RTI) Act has shown that the Rs 7,721 was spent on each plate of dinner that was served at the third anniversary celebrations of the UPA-II government on 22nd May 2012 which was held at the Prime Minister’s residence in New Delhi.
The menu for the dinner included keoti dal, jhinga kasundi, dum aloo kashmiri, beans gajar matar, gosht burrah kebab, fish malabari, chicken chettinad, baghare baingan, biryani and a bread basket. As per the reply, the total expenses at the dinner party was Rs. 28,95,503. Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh’s invitee list included 603 people but only 375 invitees attended the party. The guests included Members of Parliament, leaders of political parties, members of the Congress Working Committee and media persons.
The major expenses at the dinner party included:
- Rs. 11,34,296 was spent on food,
- Rs. 14,42,678 was spent on tent arrangements,
- Rs 2.92 lakh was spent on electricity, and
- Rs. 26,444 was spent on flowers.
It has been reported that the Prime Minister's Office was in charge of the hospitality arrangements while the payment for the dinner was made by the Central Public Works Department (CPWD) and Ministry of Foreign Affairs under the hospitality grant. The quantum of money spent has received criticism from the activists who have pointed that the Planning Commission has defined poverty level as Rs. 32 per capita for urban areas and Rs 26 per capita for rural areas.