The AYUSH Ministry spent over Rs 34 crore for International Yoga Day celebrations in the past two years, an RTI query has revealed.
Central Public Information Officer (CPIO), Banamali Naik, however, said the expenditure on the celebrations this year has not been finalised as yet. According to information provided by the ministry to RTI activist Nutan Thakur, Rs 34.50 crore has been spent for International Yoga Day celebrations in 2015 and 2016. This includes Rs 16.40 crore for 2015 and Rs 18.10 crore for 2016.
June 21 is celebrated as the International Yoga Day. The RTI reply added that the total expenditure incurred by other departments on Yoga Day was not available.
The CPIO declined to provide a copy of the documents with regard to the expenses, stating that they were bulky and ran into hundreds of pages.
There was controversy in 2015-16 to the event with a section of minority groups opposing it. The government did not include ‘Suryanamaskar’ in the yoga protocol for the event after some Muslim groups claimed that it was against their religion.