The Maoists spend nearly Rs. 140 crore annually to fight their bloody wars across eight states, the first government-commissioned study on Maoist finances has estimated.
The estimate — thrown up after extensive analysis of Maoist documents and interrogation reports — is much lower than earlier estimates of the Maoist extortion industry ranging from Rs. 200 crore to Rs. 2,000 crore.
“The Maoists have been collecting not less than Rs. 140 crore annually from a variety of sources,” said the draft report prepared for the government, counting the mining industry, public works and collecting tendu leaves as the main sources of their income.
This is the first time an attempt has been made to closely study how the guerrillas fund their insurgency, spend the money and keep track of its expenditure.
“The Maoists have a meticulous system of accounting and are very good at book-keeping... (They) have also issued guidelines on financial discipline and how to avoid wasteful (nonproletarian) expenditure,” the document prepared by a security think-tank said.
A police officer said this could explain how the Maoists were able to run their war machinery on a shoe-string budget.
As it does need to spend a considerable amount on acquiring weapons because it is not easy to rob the police any more.