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Cash crunch forces Maharashtra government to put brakes on police recruitment

The Cabinet had made the decision to recruit 12,000 police personnel each year over five years in 2014, but that will not happen now

mumbai Updated: Feb 09, 2018 10:53 IST
Surendra P Gangan
Surendra P Gangan
Hindustan Times
Maharashtra government,Police,Mumbai
The government has put its plan of recruiting 65,000 police personnel and officials in the next five years on hold.(HT File Photo)

The poor financial condition of the state exchequer has forced the government to put its plan of recruiting 65,000 police personnel and officials in the next five years on the back burner.

The Cabinet had made the decision to recruit 12,000 police personnel each year over the next five years in March 2014. But the government will not recruit the remaining 48,000 police personnel for now.

After various reports based on World Bank norms, the National Police Commission guidelines and an internal assessment over the ratio between the police and the population, the state government had taken the decision to increase the number of police personnel in the force. It recruited 55,105 police in about seven years after the cabinet decision in February 2005 during the Congress-led regime.

The second phase of 65,000 posts in five stages began in 2014, with recruitment of 12,347 police personnel in the first stage. But uncertainty looms large over the remaining four stages.

The home department has been referring the proposal to the finance department for the recruitment of 12,547 posts, at regular intervals, only to be turned down. “The finance department returned the file two months ago citing the financial condition of the exchequer and its decision, taken in June 2015, to not allow creation of any new posts. This is widening the gap of the police:population ratio, which is more than 1:500 against the ideal ratio of 1:150. Given the current financial scenario, our apprehension is recruitment is unlikely to take place at least for the next three years,” a senior official from the home department said.

The annual recurring burden for recruitment of 12,000 new posts is Rs617 crore, the official said.

According to officials, during the first phase, 30% posts were reserved for women, taking their percentage in the force to above 10%.

The state police force has 2.20 lakh personnel and officers. The government has, however, given permission to recruit 4,200 sanctioned posts that are vacant. The procedure is currently under way.

The state government had put a ban, in June 2015, on the creation of new posts in the backdrop of disproportionate expenditure on salaries compared to the revenue growth. It also banned filling the more than 75% vacant posts in emergency services ,including police, public health and education. The ongoing recruitment of vacant posts was initiated after special permission from the high power committee.

A senior official from the home department, on the condition of anonymity, said, “It is true the plan has been put on hold, but we think with the adoption of the technology, including a CCTV network, the burden on the police has reduced to a great extent.”

First Published: Feb 09, 2018 10:53 IST