Prime Minister Narendra Modi's monthly radio address 'Mann Ki Baat' has generated revenue of about Rs. 10 crore for the All India Radio (AIR) in the last two financial years, the Lok Sabha was informed today.
In 2016-17, the revenue was to the tune of Rs. 5.19 crore, while it was Rs. 4.78 crore in 2015-16. Minister of Information and Broadcasting Rajyavardhan Rathore said in a written reply.
He said regional version of the address is also broadcast in 18 languages and 33 dialects on the same day after the completion of the original broadcast.
Besides, the minister said the English and the Sanskrit versions are also broadcast by the AIR. Rathore said the 'Mann Ki Baat' is disseminated on transmitters for domestic audience and through the internet and shortwave (SW) transmitters for global listeners.
The revenue for radio, which reaches about 99 percent of India's population, comes from higher advertising rates. Modi's address to the nation through the radio is pre-decided on a fixed Sunday morning every month. A number of brands want themselves on air just before and after Modi's speech which attracts millions of listeners.
Launched on October 3, 2014, Modi addresses the nation every month in 'Mann Ki Baat' programme. PM Modi had last addressed the nation on his monthly radio programme on June 25, the 42nd anniversary of the Emergency, where he called it the "darkest day in the history of India".
The idea hit PM Modi from the experiments of former United States President Barack Obama who used a similar programme to reach out to the masses. As per a survey, the programme was listened to most in Bihar in the last year. Among the issues, PM Modi spoke about drought, Monsoon, Demonetisation and Good and Services Tax in the programme. The programme also helped All India Radio in adding more listeners to its programmes, the survey suggested.