Despite the Directorate General of Information and Public Relations (DGIPR) and its statewide network, the Maharashtra government will appoint public relations agencies for the office of the Deputy Chief Minister to upload his announcements on social media, including Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Blogger, WhatsApp Bulletin, Telegram channel and through SMS.
The government has earmarked Rs 5.98 crore for publicity by roping PR agencies. According to the government notification, it will be the responsibility of the DGIPR to see that there will not be any duplication of information released by the chief minister’s office and Dy CM’s office.
Dy CM Ajit Pawar, who holds the Finance and Planning Department, through PR agencies in addition to his office, will release decisions with regards to his department and the meetings held by him with other departments.
The government has said that the expenses to be incurred on the dissemination of information and charges of these agencies is well within the 33% limit as the government has already introduced a 67% cut in planned expenditure due to revenue shortfall.
This news has not gone down well with the opposition and several people from Maharashtra who believe that this is a misuse of money. Many people are of the opinion that the money being used for PR can be instead used for the betterment of the society especially when Maharashtra is facing such duress due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The opposition has hit out at the Maharashtra government and so have many other citizens.
Here are some of the reactions. Have a look.
With inputs from Sanjay Jog.