He will have to spend Rs. 15 lakh a month as expense on CRPF personnel, provide them barracks

The ‘Z’ security cover being provided to Reliance Industries Ltd Chairman Mukesh Ambani would not come for free as India’s richest man will have to shell out around Rs.15 lakh a month as expense incurred on the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel.

The proposal for deploying over 20 CRPF commandos, headed by an Inspector-rank officer, was cleared by the Ministry of Home Affairs after intelligence inputs from Central law enforcement agencies hinted towards threat to Mr. Ambani’s life.

Cost-reimbursement

The order issued by the Union Home Ministry also states the CRPF deployment for the protectee (Mr. Ambani) will be on a “cost-reimbursement” basis, while commandos will also be provided barracks by him.

Government sources say the monthly expenditure on Mr. Ambani’s security deployment would be around Rs.15-16 lakh.

According to Forbes, with net worth of about $21.5 billion, Mr. Ambani is India’s richest person, while he is ranked 22nd in the world. Similarly, in the Forbes list of world’s 71 most powerful people, Mr. Ambani is placed at 37th position behind Congress president Sonia Gandhi (12th position) and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh (19th position).However, there has been strong opposition to the Centre’s decision to give security to Mr. Ambani.

‘Atrocious decision’

Calling it an “atrocious decision,” former Border Security Force Director General Prakash Singh said while the CRPF was fighting hard against Naxals, deployment of personnel for a private person would hurt force’s morale. “India’s richest man can easily get best of private guards for himself…There is no need to government to oblige him,” he noted. Similarly, Aam Admi Party leader Arvind Kejriwal strongly opposed the move and stated that if at all there was a threat perception Mr. Ambani could hire the best security agency in the world.

In the recent past, Mr. Ambani has reportedly got threats from Indian Mujahideen for his proximity to Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi (who is alleged to have failed to check communal riots in the State in 2002) and for investing heavily in the western State.

A letter delivered to Mr. Ambani’s office Nariman Point office in Mumbai on February 24 this year purportedly by Indian Mujahideen threatened to harm him.

The banned terror outfit also warned of attacking the business tycoon’s skyscraper residence Antilia on Altamount Road.

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