The three-day World Hindi Conference in Bhopal is going to be a mega event; at least the preparations afoot suggest so. But the ministry of external affairs and the state government are tight-lipped about the budget of the conference that will be inaugurated on September 10 by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
“The work is in progress. Budget would come out only once the programme concludes. Allocating the budget in the beginning puts restrain. There is dynamism in the budget process. Funds would be no constraint for such a programme,” said minister of state for external affairs, Gen (retired) VK Singh.
Singh continued to be elusive about the state’s share in the expenditure. “MP is the partner state, which means the event would be partly funded by the state as well. The same pattern would be applicable that happened at the NRI day celebrated in Gujarat,” he told HT.
Meanwhile, vice-chancellor of Makhanlal Chaturvedi University of Journalism and Communication, BK Kuthiala, said the university was providing manpower in the event.
“We are participating in exhibitions and that cost would be borne by us. We have also decided to bring a special edition of a newspaper dedicated to the event for five days. The budget for the newspaper has been sent to the ministry of external affair. We are waiting for the reply,” said Kuthiala.
The Bhopal Municipal Corporation and district administration, which has been carrying out various beautification works across the city, told HT that most of the works were being carried out in anticipation that the budget would be sanctioned.
Some officials hinted that the ministry of external affairs had decided upon a budget of Rs 20 crore for the event. But the expenses are expected to go much beyond the mark and the state government is expected to bear the budget above this limit, said the official, not wishing to be named.