No consensus on funding airport security

Government ministries working on security consolidation at airports are stuck on who will foot the Rs 800-crore bill raised by the Home Ministry for providing CISF support at airports across the country.  Consolidation of security at airports, after the launch of regional connectivity schemes, is being worked on by the ministries of civil aviation, home and finance.  The meeting to discuss a unified security architecture for the aviation sector and consolidation of security at airports under the CISF has happened twice. The three departments met for the third time, but agreement eluded them.

A meeting chaired by Minister of State for Home, Kiren Rijiju, was attended by junior Minister for Finance, Arjun Ram Meghwal, and Minister of State for Civil Aviation, Jayant Sinha, besides officials from the three ministries.  A section of officials said that with no breakthrough on the issue of security cost, the matter may be referred to the PMO. While the civil aviation ministry argued that the money should come from the consolidated fund of the Government of India, the finance ministry is said to have suggested that the burden be passed on to air travellers. The home ministry said this would lead to hike in air fares.