New Year goof up irks MHA

New Year goof up irks MHA

Mumbai's Bandra-Kurla Complex placed 16th and Nariman Point 32nd

New Year goof up irks MHA

A letter informing states about non-release of Rs 1,500 crore additional funds under the Modernisation of Police Forces (MPF) scheme was put up on the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) website on Thursday but disappeared mysteriously within hours.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had proposed to enhance the allocation for MPF from Rs 1,500 crore to Rs 3,000 crore during 2014-15 in his maiden budget speech.

This is the only letter that has been withdrawn from the MHA website. Two earlier correspondences on September 4 and October 22 seeking plans from states for additional allocation have been retained.

The letter dated December 29 was uploaded on the MHA website on Thursday afternoon, but it was withdrawn within hours with a section of officers claiming that the letter was a result of some miscommunication with the finance ministry.

The letter by Director (Police Modernisation) S D Sharma to chief secretaries and director-generals of police informed them that “additional allocation of Rs 1,500 crore as per budget 2014-15 announcements has not been provided under the MPF scheme at RE (revised estimates) stage.”

The MHA did not cite any reason for such a decision but informed states that their additional State Action Plan (SAP) “would not be considered during the current financial year.” These plans may be merged or absorbed in the State Action Plan 2015-16, the letter stated.

The decision not to release additional funds comes against the backdrop of the government's plans to prune plan expenditure of various ministries and departments.
Recent reports about 20 per cent cut in budget allocation for health sector had triggered criticism.

The MHA had on September 4 asked states to submit additional SAP proposals within 15 days to avail the increased allocation of Rs 1,500 crore.

The MHA had come up with a tentative additional allocation, which ran into Rs 1,425 crore under the Central share. On October 22, the MHA asked states who have not sent proposals to send it at the earliest and warned that they may lose out on allocation if they do not submit their proposal in time.

As per the September 4 letter, Uttar Pradesh was allocated the highest additional amount of Rs 160.50 crore under the Central share followed by Maharashtra 119.67 crore and Karnataka Rs 77.45 crore. This was in addition to the proposed allocation of around Rs 1,400 crore finalised in March.

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