The controversy over payment of bills for providing security to 26/11 terrorist Ajmal Kasab, who is lodged in a Mumbai jail, is a matter that needs to be debated, Union home minister Sushilkumar Shinde said in New Delhi on Friday.
"This is an administrative matter and cannot be solved without being debated," Shinde told reporters on the sidelines of a function.
The Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) has prepared a bill of over Rs. 26 crore, till Aug 31, for providing security cover to Kasab.
The Maharashtra government has already made it clear that it won't settle the bill till the central government chips in.
Since March 2009, over 150 ITBP personnel have been deployed in and around the jail to protect the jailed Pakistani terrorist, one of the 10 who sneaked into Mumbai and the only one to be caught alive.
The Nov 26-29, 2008 terror siege claimed 166 lives.
The Union home ministry on Tuesday recommended the rejection of the mercy petition of Kasab, who has been sentenced to death by the trial court, a government source said.
Kasab's mercy petition was made to the president after the Supreme Court Aug 29 upheld his death sentence.