The budget papers show that despite substantial funds being allotted to anti-terror infrastructure projects like the National Intelligence Grid (NATGRID) and the Crime and Criminal Tracking Network and Systems (CCTNS), the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) failed to ensure their full utilisation.
Tardy progress on these crucial projects notwithstanding, P. Chidambaram, who was Union Home Minister before taking charge of the Finance Ministry, has not made major cuts in fund allocation to these projects.
Allocation has also been hiked for the National Investigation Agency (NIA) formed to investigate terror cases.
The NATGRID was allocated Rs. 364 crore in the current fiscal but it could spend only Rs. 11 crore. And for the next fiscal, Rs. 66 crore has been earmarked for it.
NATGRID was Mr. Chidambaram’s brainchild conceived after the Mumbai terror attacks to create a facility to improve counter-terror capabilities by linking 21 data sources from 11 intelligence agencies.
Similarly, in the case of CCTNS, yet another creation of Mr. Chidambaram as Home Minister, the MHA spent Rs. 193 crore in 2011-12. But despite getting an allocation of Rs. 400 crore in the current fiscal, only Rs. 85 crore could be budgeted.
However, the Finance Minister has allocated Rs. 276 crore for the next fiscal for the project that aims at connecting 14,000-plus police stations as well as 6,000 police headquarters for information sharing.
Though the central architecture of the CCTNS was inaugurated in January this year, police sources say its national rollout is still years away.
However, the NIA has been able to make use of funds allocated. It spent Rs. 37.58 crore in 2011-12.
The allocation was increased to Rs.72.76 in the current fiscal. For 2013-14, Mr. Chidambaram has hiked it to Rs.103.87 crore.
However, the Finance Minister has not allocated any separate funds for the controversial National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC), again an idea mooted by him and which met stiff resistance from non-Congress chief ministers.