Centre has sanctioned Rs 15.78 crore as grants-in-aid to Punjab government for setting up of ‘Robust Security & Policing Infrastructure’ at Dera Baba Nanak as part of Kartarpur Sahib Corridor Project.
The funds were sanctioned last month under the scheme for modernization of state police forces 2019-20. The project includes construction of police station building (Type ‘H’), office of DSP counter intelligence and other staff of the Intelligence wing, dormitory accommodation for 150 police personnel and 50 residential flats.
Ministry of Home Affairs, sources said, in the third week of September directed its Principal Accounts Office (Loan Sanction) to release the payment of Rs 15.78 crore to Punjab government.
Pointing out that funds were being released under the “specific decision of the Union cabinet on November 22, 2018”, MHA directed that “Punjab government will not be required to contribute its 40 per cent share and is exempted from the stipulation of the scheme guideline of not allowing funds for use of construction activities.”
It noted that sanction had been issued with the concurrence of the Ministry’s Integrated Finance Division on September 18.
Punjab government is also “exempted from liquidation of UCs (utilization certificates) in respect of the funds released up to 2017-18. However, the UCs for the proposed release will be counted while releasing funds during 2021-22 onwards, MHA noted.
Further, MHA on October 3 directed to release Rs 2.8 crore as grants-in-aid to Punjab under Border Area Development Programme (BADP) during the current fiscal. The amount is the 60 per cent central share for various items of fire safety equipment, machinery and building and healthcare services at Dera Baba Nanak. Punjab government will provide the remaining amount of Rs 1.87 crore as 40 per cent state share in the total estimated project cost of Rs 4.68 crore.
“The above funds are being released as one time exception, in relaxation of BADP guidelines as approved by the competent authority and not to be quoted as a precedent,” observed the MHA.
The Punjab government had asked for Rs 39.02 crore as a one-time grant from the Centre to establish ‘robust security and policing infrastructure’ at Dera Baba Nanak.
Out of Rs 39.02 crore, Rs 18 crore was sought for setting up of facilitation centres, Rs 16.34 crore for security, Rs 2.88 crore for healthcare services and Rs 1.8 crore for fire safety equipment.
In a response to Punjab government, MHA had said that concerned divisions of the ministry had been directed to “examine the requirements of security, fire safety equipment and healthcare services under the relevant schemes/funds”. For facilitation of the pilgrims, it had told Punjab to explore the possibility of using existing/operational government-run Suvidha Kendras and other centres including police-run centres.