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Security slash for former PMs

New Delhi, Nov. 28: A Bill introduced in the Lok Sabha today intends to restrict the Special Protection Group security cover on former Prime Ministers and their spouses to one year from the date they cease to hold office.

At present, former Prime Ministers, their spouses and immediate family members are given security cover for 10 years or more depending on the threat perception. The new Bill stipulates that SPG security cover would be extended beyond one year at the discretion of the Centre.

The move has been initiated in view of the manpower constraints faced by the SPG and the financial burden on the government for providing such security, said Union minister of state for home Vidya Sagar Rao who introduced the Bill in the House.

The new Bill also restricts security cover for immediate family members of a former Prime Minister to three months from the date on which he ceases to hold office. However, “this may be continued subject to review by the Central government on a case-to-case basis”, the minister said.

It has been decided that a former Prime Minister and his spouse shall be provided proximate security, on their visits abroad, based on entitlement to it and the level of threat, as assessed by the Central government, he added.

The SPG Act was last amended in 1999 to provide proximate security to a former Prime Minister or any member of his immediate family even beyond the period of 10 years where the level of threat justified such security.

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