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Coast Guard seeks Rs 4,950 crore, but granted only 46%
The annual budget of the Indian Coast Guard (ICG)’s has been decreased to 46 per cent in 2018-19. There has been steadily declining of budget of ICG since the year, 2015-16. In 2018-19, the ICG projected a requirement of Rs 4,950.00 crore but only Rs 2,700.00 crore has been allocated under the Capital Head. This is approximately 46 per cent less than the projected amount.
Similarly, under the Revenue Head, the allocation has been only to the extent of Rs 2,091.42 crore against the projection of Rs 2,408.41crore. In total, while the ICG projected a requirement of Rs 7,358.41 crore, the allocation has been just Rs 4,791.42 crore, which approximately amounts to 65 per cent of the projected requirement.
Expressing concern over decreasing Budget, a parliamentary standing committee on defence, headed by BJP MP BC Khanduri, AVSM (retd) has stated in a report that lesser allocation to the organisation would affect new schemes, which have been prioritized as per budget availability.
“The budgetary issue should be taken on priority as non-fructification of New Schemes would affect acquisition of the much required Capital assets to protect our coast lines and thereby avoid recurrence of unfortunate incidents such as that of 26/11 in Mumbai,” the committee said in its report.
The ICG has to guard 7,516-km of coastline, 2.3 million sq km of Exclusive Economic Zone and also has the responsibility for Search & Rescue operations in 4.6 million sq km area. Besides, it has to perform duties and functions related to security of off shore installations, provide assistance in collection of scientific data, safety of life and property at sea, assist the Customs Department in anti-smuggling operations, prevent and control marine pollution, preserve and protect marine environment and also protect and assist fishermen in distress.
ICG envisaged 214 ships, Air Cushion Vehicles (ACVs) and interceptor boats by the end of the 12th plan.
However, it has been able to acquire only 134 assets. As stated, 66 surface platforms/16 aircraft are under construction/production at various shipyards/HAL.
During the same plan period, the Indian Coast Guard envisaged adding 100 aircraft by the end of the plan but it has been able to acquire only 63 aircraft. Considering the importance of coastal surveillance, the Committee had earlier recommended that the Coast Guard should have a proper monitoring system for tracking boats, which come to the harbours through its 42 Coast Guard stations functioning in different parts of the country
“For attending to the assigned tasks, the Coast Guard needs enhanced Capital Budget to buy offshore vessels, helicopters, aircraft etc. As per the admission made by the representatives of the Coast Guard,” the report said.
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