The Government returned Rs 6,000 crore earmarked for security-related issues last year,the latest audit of government accounts has revealed. Underlining the slow spending of various departments and ministries on matters of security,the CAG report disclosed that the Government returned most of the funds meant for modernisation of the Delhi Police,setting up of forensic laboratories,security of the Kalpakkam nuclear reactor,strengthening of defences along the Indo-China border and procurement of new equipment for the armed forces.
The only department that seems to have spent more than what it was allocated in the 2007-08 budget is the Intelligence Bureau,which overdrew Rs 22 crore from the exchequer.
However,in crucial areas,including a comprehensive security system for the Kalpakkam reactor after reports of threats from the LTTE,the government has failed to kickstart projects. Out of the Rs 2.5 crore allocated for the project,the Atomic Energy Department could only spend Rs 37 lakh,the audit report reveals. Similarly,a Rs 12 crore civil aviation security package could not be spent.
The Home Ministry,which returned close to Rs 1,800 crore earmarked for modernisation efforts,did not spend money in the key areas of research,border security and forensic sciences. The major part of the funds Rs 1,414 crore was returned under the research head. The audit report did not have details of specific projects that failed to take off. On modernisation of the police forces,close to Rs 150 crore intended for the induction of latest technology for the Delhi Police were returned unspent. Large chunks of money meant for setting up institutes of criminology,forensic science and a criminal database also could not be spent.
Projects to strengthen the Indian borders,including a Rs 50-crore package for the Indo-China boundary,did not take off with the Government returning over Rs 120 crore in the last financial year. On the defence front,funds worth Rs 4,287 crore meant for the acquisition of equipment like warships,aircraft,artillery guns,helicopters and other modern devices for the Army,Air Force and Navy were returned by the Ministry of Defence.