The government has spent an alarming amount of Rs 132.38 crore for GST (goods and services tax) advertisements. It was revealed by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting in a reply to an RTI query. More than 5 crores were spent on advertisements with outdoor media.
Bollywood megastar Amitabh Bachchan was also roped in as a brand ambassador to promote GST by the government.
According to the RTI response, there has been zero expenditure for the same on electronic media. The expenditure on GST advertisements for print media stood at Rs 1,26,93,97,121 and for the outdoor medium, the expenses were at Rs Rs 5,44,35,502. In the video that was released by the government featuring Bachchan, he explained the GST as a unifying force just like the three colours in the national flag. The GST is an initiative to create ‘one nation, one tax, one market’, he said. Ace badminton player PV Sindhu was also previously one of the GST ambassador.
Following the implementation of GST on July 1, 2017, there were full-page ads by the government. Reportedly, the total revenue earned by the central government and the state governments after settlement including provisional settlement of Rs 12,000 crore in August 2018, is Rs 36,963 crore for CGST (central GST) and Rs 41,136 crore for the SGST (state GST).