RAIPUR: The government of Chhattisgarh on Monday asked the Union Home Ministry to pick up the tab for using central paramilitary forces in its fight against naxalites.
The BJP-ruled state has written to the central government asking for a waiver of Rs 7,500 crore that it claims to have spent on hosting troops of several paramilitary forces, including the Central Reserve Police Force, Cobra Battalion, Border Security Force, Indo-Tibetan Border Police and Central Industrial Security Force.
Paramilitary forces began to be used in Chhattisgarh since the first Assembly elections held in the state in November 2003. Their number has gone up substantially since then as the government’s conflict with the outlawed CPI (Maoist) intensified.
There are over 48,000 paramilitary forces stationed in Chhattisgarh. There are 45 battalions and 125 base camps.
The central government bears the cost of security forces for the initial three years. Later, the onus of meeting expenses, including the troopers’ salaries, shifts to the host state government.
Establishment costs are borne under the security-related expenditure (SRE) scheme, the burden of which shared by the centre and state governments.
New Delhi paid all bills from 2004 to 2007 but since then, “the expenditure, mainly the salary component, has ballooned to huge proportions,” additional director-general of police (planning and provisioning/technical services) R K Vij told New Indian Express.
Despite years of anti-naxalite operations, 16 of the state’s 27 districts have significant Maoist presence.
The state has been petitioning governments in New Delhi for years. In earlier responses to the state, the Union Home Ministry categorically stated that barring Jammu & Kashmir, the northeastern states and Himachal Pradesh, other states will have to bear the cost of forces deployed there themselves.