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Nitish slams govt for reducing anti-Naxal funds

Nitish slams govt for reducing anti-Naxal funds
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Monday slammed the Centre for its "contradictory" approach on Naxal strategy and questioned the stalling of training schools for police, stopping of funds for schemes and declining request for a helicopter for anti-Maoist operations.

Speaking at the meeting of chief ministers of Naxal affected states, Kumar questioned the purpose of such meets if all the work was to be done by the states from their own resources.
The chief minister came down heavily on the Centre for stopping the funding for three counter-insurgency and anti- terrorist schools with effect from 2015-16.

The schools were started by the UPA government in 2010 to make state police ready for anti-LWE operations.

"It is ironical that on one hand capacity building and training of security forces are being emphasised, while on the other the central government has already stopped funding to training centres. This contradiction in approach will not lead to any solutions," Kumar said. The state, which has six of the 35 Naxal-affected districts in the country, has recorded a decline of 60 per cent in violent incidents, from 316 to 129, by Naxals between 2011 and 2016, Kumar said in the meeting organised by the Home Ministry here.

He said the Congress-led UPA government had introduced some schemes for capacity enhancement of security forces and to address local disparity in the LWE affected states like Special Infrastructure Scheme, Integrated Action Plan and Security Related Expenditure.

"These schemes produced good results. Since last year the SIS and IAP schemes have been discontinued and ironically this happened when we were hoping that the government would further strengthen these schemes and enhance resources," Kumar said.

He said the stoppage of funding for these schemes has adversely affected the undergoing developmental works, specially, under these schemes in affected districts.

Kumar said the funds for the "modernisation of police force", to equip the state police with technology, training and modern gear to face threats like LWE, have been reduced by the Centre.
The chief minister said it has been felt that the structuring and scope of the scheme should be expanded to meet new challenges.

"On the contrary, the government as a change in policy has reduced funding in plan component of the MPF schemes. From year 2000-2001 to 2014-15 the central government provided funding under MPF to the tune of Rs 40 crore annually, on an average. Subsequently it was reduced to Rs 25 crore," he said.

Kumar also said that for a state like Bihar the ratio of Centre and state funding should be 90:10 and not 60:40.

He claimed that Bihar had requested the Home Ministry for the deployment of one helicopter in Bihar but they turned down the proposal and instead asked the state to use the helicopter deployed in Jharkhand as and when need arises.

He said the state even suggested to the MHA that a helicopter could be provided on a wet lease basis under Security Related Expenditure scheme, which can be expedited by the Centre.
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