Meira Kumar took abroad visit every 37 days
New Delhi: Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar has undertaken as many 29 foreign trips in 35 months since assuming the high office which means she has gone on a trip nearly every 37 days.
The former IFS officer has visited 28 countries accompanied by MPs belonging to various parties as well as senior officials of the Lok Sabha Secretariat incurring a total expenditure of nearly Rs 10 crore, according to information given to activist Subhash Agrawal under RTI Act.
The country most visited by her is Switzerland, which is essentially in connection with Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) work, according to details furnished by the Lok Sabha Secretariat.
Kumar, who was elected Speaker on June 3, 2009 has, in all, travelled abroad for 146 days till April 30 this year.
For IPU work, Kumar has undertaken seven visits to four countries - Switzerland four times, while once each to the USA, Panama and, Thailand.
In addition, she visited Trinidad and Tobago, UK, Sri Lanka, Isle of Man, Swaziland, Kenya and Tanzania for the work related to Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, the reply said.
Kumar also took Parliamentary delegations to Italy, Austria, Mauritius, Bhutan, Hungary, Luxembourg, Mongolia, Mexico, Vietnam, Republic of Korea, Sweden, Denmark, Japan, Iran, Chile, Uruguay and Paraguay.
In five visits to the USA, Trinidad and Tobago, Sri Lanka, Isle of Man and Swaziland, she was only accompanied by the officials of the Parliament while in rest of the visits she was also accompanied by MPs.
According to the reply, total expnses on these visits were Rs 9.89 crore. She also gave gifts worth Rs 11.66 lakh to her hosts.