Ambitious modernisation plans of the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) will suffer yet another setback as the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has decided to make a steep cut in allocation of funds this year, with the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) and the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) not getting even a single penny.
The CAPFs – the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), the Border Security Force (BSF), the National Security Guard (NSG), Assam Rifles (AR), Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB), the ITBP and the CISF – had sought Rs. 2,360 crore from the Ministry for 2013-14 to buy latest weaponry, gadgets and surveillance equipment to meet threats and challenges posed by terrorists, Maoists, anti-national elements and foreign forces along the border.
But the MHA has agreed to give just Rs. 90 crore to fund modernisation plans of five CAPFs. Significantly, in 2012-13, the CAPFs were sanctioned Rs.128 crore for modernisation, but the forces could utilise only Rs. 35 crore.
Of the Rs. 2,360 crore sought, the CRPF wanted Rs. 873 crore but was sanctioned just Rs. 20 crore. The BSF sought Rs. 694 crore and it got only Rs. 20 crore.
Similarly, Rs. 309 crore was sought by Assam Rifles but it got Rs. 28 crore. The ITBP wanted Rs.141 crore but was sanctioned nothing. The NSG asked for Rs.118 crore but got just Rs. 86 lakh. In the case of the CISF, it sought Rs. 86 crore and it got nil. The SSB, which sought Rs. 66 crore, was given just over Rs.20 crore.
Significantly, in last May, the Prime Minister-headed Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) approved Rs.11,000 crore for modernisation of the CAPFs that is to be sanctioned and utilised in the next five years.
Apart from procuring latest machine guns, automatic pistols, guns and rifles, rocket launchers, the shopping list of the CAPFs include night vision devices, patrolling and special vehicles.