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HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, March 01, 2013
The central spending to counter internal security challenges is set to cross the Rs. 50,000 crore-mark over the next one year, twice of what was being spent in 2008 when terrorists struck Mumbai.

One of the most outspoken home ministers till some months ago, finance minister P Chidambaram didn't utter a word about the security challenges in his Budget speech but quietly gave the police a generous 19% hike to fight crime and terror.

Chidambaram's budget earmarked Rs. 52,264 crore for the internal security establishment for the next fiscal. The home ministry's security budget for the current year is Rs. 43,700 crore.

Much of it will go to pay salaries of central security personnel fighting terrorists in J&K, northeast and Maoists.

Soon after Chidambaram was named the finance minister last July home ministry officials had sought his help relating to internal security at the finance ministry.

"He didn't say anything at that time... but just smiled," an official recalled, speculating that Chidambaram skipping any reference to the home ministry could have something to do with the fact that two key projects — National Intelligence Grid and National ID card for all residents — had hit a rough patch.