Despite the state’s cash position remaining stressed due to the coronavirus lockdown, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray is all set to shell out a sum of over Rs 5 crores to promote his Maha Vikas Aghadi government. The Shiv Sena-led Maha Vikas Aghadi government’s administration department has floated an e-tender, inviting private advertising agencies to apply for managing the PR of the Chief Minister and the Government of Maharashtra.
According to a government resolution issued by CMO and the Directorate General of Information and Public Relations, the agencies will use audio-visual content, develop creatives and come up with campaigns to promote the government’s image and policies. A major thrust will be on social media.
This entire PR exercise would cost the exchequer a hefty sum of Rs 5,43,60, 240, that is a little short of Rs 5 crore 50 lakhs.
The Thackeray govt justified the move saying that outsourcing the social media work to private agencies was the sole option available after the Directorate of Information and Public Relations (DGIPR) argued that it lacks the technical expertise and trained manpower necessary to do the job effectively.
Financially stressed Maha Vikas Aghadi government struggles to pay employees
The decision comes at the time when the Maharashtra government is facing such a ‘massive financial crisis’ that it has been struggling to pay its own employees, let alone health care resources requested from other states. Recently, it was reported how a Maharashtra government employee of the State Transport Corporation has committed suicide after being in depression for not receiving his salary for the period of the last two months.
Earlier it was reported that not just the Maharashtra government employees but even the salaries of the doctors and nurses requested from Kerala were inordinately delayed by the Maha Vikas Aghadi government. As a result, several of the doctors and nurses flew back to Kerala, alleging that the BMC had been interminably delaying their payments.
The ‘cash stripped’ Maha Vikas Aghadi government clears purchase of six luxury cars worth Rs 1.37 crore
But while the state is floundering to make payments to the employees involved in the fight against the coronavirus, the government had given its authorisation for the purchase of 6 new luxury vehicles for its ministers, worth Rs 1.37 crore.