The Chhattisgarh government admitted on Thursday that it paid a whopping sum of Rs 1.40 crore to Bollywood actress Kareena Kapoor for her performance last month at the state's anniversary function.
In a written reply to Congress member Mohammed Akbar in the state assembly, Public Works Department Minister Brijmohan Agrawal, who holds the tourism and culture portfolios as well, said that 245 artistes performed during the weeklong (November 1-7) state foundation anniversary - Rajayotasava 2012- celebrations held in various districts and the government paid over Rs 5 crore to them.
The total expenditure as honorarium to 245 artistes, that included 42 artistes from outside the state, during Rajayotasava 2012 was Rs 5,21,22,500, the minister said.
He also listed details of per person honorarium paid out by the government, with Kareena Kapoor topping the list at Rs 1,40,71,000.
Kareena performed at main Rajayotasava venue at Naya Raipur on November 1 and her show was hardly for eight minutes.
The government also paid heavy amount to other artistes such as Sonu Nigam (Rs 36,50,000), Sunidhi Chauhan (Rs 32,00,000), Dia Mirza (Rs 25,00,000), Himesh Reshamia (Rs 24,00,000) and Pankaj Udhas (Rs 90,000).
The minister also informed the house that his department spent Rs 54,62,461 on inviting the artistes and their travel expenditure while the bill for artistes' lodging and food was put at Rs 11,67,956.