The centre's ambitious plan for a National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC) would seem to have been put on the back burner, considering that the annual union budget announced on Friday makes no provision for such a centre – despite the fact that it was mentioned by President Pratibha Patil in her inaugural address to Parliament's budget session.
While the NCTC appears stymied by opposition from several states, the government is clearly focussing on setting up a national intelligence grid (Natgrid), another pet project of home minister P Chidambaram.
Finance minister Pranab Mukherjee announced the first big dose of funding for the Natgrid, at Rs364.80 crore, a huge jump from last year's Rs27.96 crore.
The Natgrid aims to link data-bases in combating terrorism as well as helping to meet internal security threats.
Reports citing government sources said the bulk of this allocation would be spent on installing the basic infrastructure for the information grid.
The allocation was part of the Rs31,414 crore earmarked for 18 organisations and projects of the internal security establishment such as the Intelligence Bureau (IB). This represents a relatively meagre rise of 8 per cent over last year's revised estimates.