IN A major boost for police reforms, the Union Cabinet Wednesday approved a Rs 25,000-crore outlay for upgrading the internal security apparatus in states. According to Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, the Cabinet Committee on Security, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, approved an umbrella scheme on “Modernisation of Police Forces”, with the money to be spent in three years from 2017-18. Of a total outlay of Rs 25,060 crore, the Centre will provide Rs 18,636 crore — around 80 per cent — while the states’ share will be Rs 6,424 crore, Singh said.
“The government had already increased the outlay to states as per the 14th Finance Commission recommendations, from 32 per cent to 42 per cent. It was earlier felt that police reforms would also be funded by states. But today, we have decided to approve the umbrella scheme over and above that,” Singh said.
Under the scheme, J&K, the northeastern states and those affected by Left-Wing Extremism (LWE) will receive a boost of Rs 10,132 crore for procurement of modern weapons, mobility of police forces, logistics support, hiring of helicopters, upgradation of police wireless, a national satellite network, a crime and criminal tracking network and systems project, an e-prison project, etc.
“It should be noted that this is one of the biggest moves towards police modernisation in India,” Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said.
The move is aimed at providing 100 per cent central assistance to states combating LWE, taking such funding to more than double the previous amount.
Within the scheme, a special central assistance for 35 of the worst LWE-affected districts has been introduced with an outlay of Rs 3,000 crore to promote development. “Although, in effect, the areas that remain affected by LWE have decreased, we officially regard that there are 35 districts. The outlay will be towards those identified districts,” Home Minister Singh said. An outlay of Rs 100 crore has been earmarked for the northeastern states to upgrade police infrastructure, set up training institutes and enhance investigation facilities, Singh said.