February 1, 2022 5:05:55 pm
The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has been allocated in excess of Rs 1.85 lakh crore in the Union budget for 2022-23, which is over 11% higher than the allocation of Rs 1.66 lakh crore in the last budget for the current fiscal. In 2019-20, the budget had allocated Rs 1.67 lakh crore to the MHA.
However, capital expenditure in the 2022-23 budget for the MHA has increased by only 5% from Rs 15,924 crore in the last budget to Rs 16,753 crore this budget.
The lion’s share of the budget allocation for the MHA has gone to the police, which has been earmarked in excess of Rs 1.17 lakh crore for the coming fiscal. Of this, Rs 10,500 crore has been allocated for capital expenditure, just marginally higher than last budget. In 2021-22, allocation for police stood at Rs 1.03 lakh crore with Rs 9,715 crore being capital expenditure. Both the figures were marginally lower compared to the 2020-21 budget.
Jammu and Kashmir, which is in a re-shaping phase after having been newly carved out as a Union territory, has been given an extra Rs 4,800 crore this budget. While the 2021-22 budget had granted Rs 30,757 crore to the Union territory, This budget has allocated Rs 35,581 crore to it. Ladakh has been allocated Rs 5,958 crore in this budget, same as last one and the one before that. Almost 60% of the allocation for Ladakh is capital expenditure.
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In the last budget, the Census had been allocated Rs 3,768 crore. As the census has remained suspended due to the pandemic, this budget has kept the allocation at Rs 3,676 crore. According to the budget, it “includes provisions for the office of the Registrar General and Census Commissioner of India and various schemes of RGI including National Population Register (NPR) and expenditure on Census, 2021.”
In the Cabinet, the highest increase in allocation has been recorded by the Office of Principal Scientific Advisor. The allocation for this office is up from Rs 68 crore in the last budget to Rs 300 crore in this budget. According to the budget, “The provision is for meeting the administrative expenses of Office of Principal Scientific Advisor and National Research Foundation.”
Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs), which include forces such as the CRPF, BSF, ITBP, SSB, CISF and the Assam Rifles, have been allocated Rs 87,444 crore this budget, up from Rs 77,838 crore in the last, recording an increase of 12%. The last budget allocation for the CAPFs was the same as the 2020-21 budget.
Border Infrastructure Management has been allocated about Rs 600 crore more this budget with total allocation at Rs 2,744 crore. Of this, the capital outlay stands at Rs 2,517 crore. According to the budget, “The provision is for erection of barbed wire fencing, construction of roads, construction of Observation Post Tower (O.P. Tower), installation of flood lighting, induction of Hi-tech Surveillance on Indo-Bangladesh and Indo-Pak borders, for various such construction activities at India’s international borders with its neighbouring countries, for setting up of mobile check posts in coastal areas of the country for better surveillance to have a check on illegal activities. The provision also includes construction of Border Out Posts.”
The government is also focusing on improving infrastructure in border areas, as emphasised by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in her budget speech on Tuesday.
“Border villages with limited connectivity often get left out from the development gains. Such villages on the northern border will be covered under a new Vibrant Villages Programme. The activities will include construction of village infrastructure, housing, tourist centres, road connectivity, provisioning of decentralized renewable energy, DTH for Doordarshan and educational channels and support for their livelihood generation. Additional funding for these activities will be provided. Existing schemes will be converged. We will define their outcomes, and monitor them on a constant basis,” Sitharaman said.
Among other key agencies, the Intelligence Bureau, too, has been allocated Rs 3,168 crore this budget, up from Rs 2,839 crore in the last budget. The allocation for Delhi Police has increased from Rs 8,338 crore to Rs 10,096 crore between the last and this budget.
The allocation for the 3,000-strong Special Protection Group (SPG), which now protects the Prime Minister, has been slashed further from Rs 429 crore in the last budget to around Rs 386 crore this budget. In 2020-21, its allocation stood at Rs 592 crore. The government had in 2019 stripped the Gandhi family of SPG cover.
Central Police Organisations such the Narcotics Control Bureau and the National Investigation Agency, among others, have been allocated Rs 1,078 crore, up from Rs 1,000 crore in the last budget. Police infrastructure expenditure has, however, dropped from Rs 4,134 crore in the last budget to Rs 3,612 crore in this budget.
Modernisation of prisons has been allocated Rs 500 crore in this budget.
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