The Central Industrial Security Force (CISF),which has been guarding the Punjab and Haryana Civil Secretariat in Chandigarh for over a decade now,has threatened to withdraw its services,if both the governments failed to clear outstanding dues worth Rs 45 crore by August 31.
The amount included service tax and advance security deposit of three months on the security being provided by it to the states.
The CISF,earlier this month,had sent a strong-worded notice to the governments of Haryana and Punjab in this regard. According to CISF,while Haryana is required to clear an outstanding of Rs 23 crore,Punjab owes it Rs 22 crore.
However,in a letter to the director general (CISF) under Union Ministry of Home Affairs,Haryanas Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Samir Mathur has rebutted its claims and clarified the governments position.
It stated that CISF is a central armed police force and clearly differentiated from private security agencies.
In this case,it is providing safety and protection to the functioning of democratically elected governments under the Constitution. The Punjab and Haryana Secretariat is the seat of governance of the states of Punjab and Haryana from where the constitutional functions are discharged. It is difficult to conceive that service tax has been sought to be levied for security… when the states are paying deployment charges, the letter added.
On CISFs claim that Haryana owes it arrears worth Rs 6.47 crore and a penal interest of Rs 9.82 crore,the government said: During reorganisation of the erstwhile Punjab state,the assets were divided in the ratio of 60:40,including the space and manpower deployed in the Secretariat building between Punjab and Haryana. …during the period of deployment of ITBP,the cost was shared in the ratio of 60:40 and this pattern is continuing again from October 2009 till date.
Since the principle of sharing the cost of CISF has been settled vide which it has been decided that the dues shall be paid in the ratio of 40 per cent to 60 per cent in respect of Haryana and Punjab,the CISF should,therefore,reconcile its accounts and outstanding shown against Haryana…, it added.
When contacted,Mathur said: Haryana has already made payments of the current outstanding bills submitted to the government up to May,2013 and there is no outstanding. There had been series of meetings with the CISF and its response has been positive. We have clarified our position on certain points. The Haryana government will not compromise on the security of the Secretariat.
In its letter,the CISF had also raised demands like providing accommodation to its personnel in Chandigarh. On this,the Haryana government wrote: The state will explore different options for providing housing for the CISF personnel,which include sparing some houses from the state pool and requesting UT government to spare houses…
The Punjab government,on the other hand,had taken the stand that the Union government owes it around Rs 14.5 crore for deployment of Punjab Police personnel for the security of Central offices in the state. Thus,only a few crores of rupees could be called as outstanding.