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Government mulls extending paramilitary cover for private units news
01 January 2009

Following the recent Mumbai attacks, the security of various installations both in the public and private sectors has become a prime concern.

According to home minister P Chidambaram, several major corporate groups including Tatas, Oberois, Infosys and Reliance have approached the government for Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) security cover for their installations and establishments on a chargeable basis.

Speaking at a press conference Chindambaram said that the government had received similar requests earlier, from two of the four corporates that have approached the government now.  

Reliance had last year sought air-cover for its Jamnagar refinery in view of its status as India's largest and the world's third largest refinery.

Infosys mentor N R Narayana Murthy had also met union home minister Shivraj Patil for security cover for the IT major's premises following intelligence inputs of its premises being possible targets of terror strikes.

Chidambaram said that since private security agencies that are deployed for the security of private installations are barred from carrying certain weapons and arms, the state has to step in to play a role in private sector security, also beyond its traditional role in public sector security. 

He said that the CISF could be deployed  in certain cases to guard private sector establishments in view of their strategic and economic importance. He added that the CISF protection could be extended only on a cost-recovery basis

The home minister added that while the government would identify the vital installations in the joint sector that should be extended CISF protection,  private installations would be required to approach the government on their own. 

But it might not be possible to extend CISF security to private sector right away, as it would call for augmentation of the personnel and their training before their deployment, he said.

Replying to a question regarding the government's inability to pass the CISF amendment bill that would enable it to take up the matter he said he would like to bring an ordinance on the issue.  However, he added that it would need to be debated by the cabinet.

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Government mulls extending paramilitary cover for private units