NDA govt keen on modernisation of police forces

NDA govt keen on modernisation of police forces

NDA govt keen on modernisation of police forces

Modernisation of police and improving border infrastructure got a major thrust in Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s maiden budget on Thursday.

The minister has  earmarked 9.5 per cent of the Rs 65,745.28 crore allocation for the Home Ministry for projects under these heads.

A slew of measures for safety of women in cities, setting up of Crisis Management Centres in Delhi and paramilitary forces getting a significant hike in allocation were other highlights of the Union Budget Jaitley presented in the Lok Sabha on Thursday.

For the Home Ministry, the allocation has been increased by 11 per cent from last fiscal’s Rs 59,241.28 crore.

The police modernisation process, improving security infrastructure along the borders and developing border villages together got Rs 6,240 crore for 2014-15.

Jaitley has enhanced the allocation for the modernisation process, which has been extended till 2016-17, to Rs 3,000 crore from Rs 1,847 crore allocated in the previous budget. The process is likely to see a revamp and re-setting of priorities, with Jaitley announcing that the process “would be reviewed”.

Though there is an increase in the amount, past experience shows that funds released by the Centre for modernisation of police are not spent fully by the states. Officials cite lengthy and cumbersome process leading to repeated re-tendering for implementing projects as the reason for non-utilisation of funds.

According to latest official data, Rs 800 crore was released to states in 2011-12 but only Rs 215.81 crore was utilised, leaving 73 per cent of the funds unutilised. In 2010-11, Rs 1,224.63 crore was allotted while the spending was Rs 930.98 crore, which was 76 per cent of the total allocation.

With India facing a deficient infrastructure at the borders, Jaitley also announced a strengthening and modernisation plan for which Rs 2,250 crore has been set aside in this fiscal. “In addition, a sum of Rs 990 crore has been allocated for the socio-economic development of villages along the borders,” Jaitley said.

Another Rs 150 crore has also been earmarked for the construction of marine police stations, jetties and for purchase of boats to strengthen coastal security apparatus. “I am also allocating adequate funds for carrying out small but much needed developmental activities as additional central assistance for left wing extremist affected districts,” the minister said.

Police Memorial

The construction of Police Memorial also found mention in the over two-hour-long budget speech. “The nation is equally indebted to the officers and the jawans of the police forces, including the central armed police forces, who are constantly engaging with the enemy within and in the process sacrificing their lives in the line of duty,” he said, while earmarking Rs 50 crore for the project in this fiscal.

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