Don't use PM's image without prior approval: Centre's whip to Khadi commission after calendar fiasco

The government's memo has debunked claims of KVIC officials that they had the permission from PMO to replace Mahatma Gandhi in 2017 issue of Khadi calendars

Over a month after Prime Minister Narendra Modi faced flak over his image replacing Mahatma Gandhi in a calendar published by Khadi and village Industries commission, Centre has sent a memorandum to the government arm (KVIC) making it mandatory to seek approval of PMO before publishing photographs of the Prime Minister.

The memo issued by the Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises (MSME) ministry outlines that the “issue pertaining to publishing the photographs of Prime Minister in the diary and calendar of KVIC has raised the following points which need to be followed by KVIC in the future”.

The government’s memo has debunked claims made by KVIC officials that they had the required permission from Prime Minister office to replace Mahatma Gandhi in 2017 issue of Khadi calendar and diaries.

“The KVIC has to send proposals for approval of Prime Minister’s Office through the Ministry of MSME which is the administrative ministry of KVIC,” according to the guidelines.

Additionally, KVIC has been instructed that the office of minister/secretary must be informed before any such major event/activities which are undertaken by the body as a part of its promotional activity.

The ministry has also stressed upon the use of only official email ids for correspondence purposes and not private email ids.

Prime Minister also faced flak after his image was used by Reliance JIo and Paytm for its brand promotion. Government later served notice to these two firms asking whether they took prior permission from PMO before using PM’s photograph.