The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Govt funds boost to cops

New Delhi, April 23: The Centre will increase its share of financial contribution in reforming the police force in states. At present, both the Centre and the state each contribute 50 per cent of total expenses. The Centre will increase its share to 75 per cent.

“The support may be given in the form of critical components like modern weapons and equipment,” deputy Prime Minister and home minister L.K. Advani told the Rajya Sabha today in reply to a discussion on the home ministry’s functioning.

In majority of the states, police forces use outdated weapons to outflank heavily-armed militants. The Centre has set up a review committee to lay down guidelines for police reforms. The finance ministry has agreed to the home ministry’s request for setting aside Rs 1,000 crore for modernising the police force.

“It is the primary duty of the state governments to protect the life and property of its citizens,” Advani said. Many states, however, plead financial inability in this regard.

“They are not in a position to spend the kind of money required to upgrade the police force. The money sent by the Centre often is diverted for other priorities — very often for paying salaries of government employees,” the deputy Prime Minister added.

Advani said this was one reason why the Centre was planning to hike its share of contribution to lessen the burden on states.

Advani proposed that the Centre and chief ministers of states meet as often as possible to discuss internal security problems. “Two such meetings have already taken place. We need to meet regularly,” he said.

“We have to think of internal security from a long-term perspective,” Advani stressed. According to the deputy Prime Minister, increasing the number of paramilitary forces alone was not enough to tone up security. “The police force will have to be modernised,” he said.

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