After almost six months of dithering,the Punjab government has cleared half the outstanding dues to Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) responsible for guarding the Punjab and Haryana Civil Secretariat building in Chandigarh.
The state home secretary D S Bains said the Punjab government has paid Rs 5.91 crore of the Rs 12 crore dues and the rest is likely to be paid in October. The CISF had threatened to withdraw security from the secretariat in case Punjab and Haryana failed to clear its pending dues for the period 2002-2009. The CISF had raised a bill of Rs 45 crore as outstanding dues by the two states with Punjabs share at Rs 22 crore and Haryanas Rs 23 crore. The bills were raised in May this year and were to be paid by August 31,2013.
The bills included service tax which we have objected to. Since CISF normally is on duty at industrial establishments they are justified in charging them service tax. But to provide security to a government building like this is part of their duty, added Bains.