Amidst attack from various political parties and the Twitterati for the central government's decision to provide ‘Z’ class security to RIL Chairman Mukesh Ambani, the billionaire has calrified that he would be paying on his own security.
The government also clarified on Monday that the business tycoon would bear the expenses for the heightened security himself.
"Ambani will bear the expense for the Z category of security being provided to him," a highly-placed government source said.
The order issued by the Union Home Ministry, also states the CRPF deployment for the protectee (Ambani) will be on a "cost-reimbursement" basis and the commandos will also be provided barracks by him.
According to estimates, the per month cost of the security deployment will be around Rs 15-16 lakh, which will be calculated on the basis of the salary of the troopers.
The security contingent, led by an Inspector rank official, will be in place by next week.
The business tycoon is the new entrant to the 'Z' category VIP security club after the Union Home Ministry had recently approved an armed commando squad following threat perception to the country's richest business leader.
Sources said the decision to provide the security of central forces was taken after it was felt that Ambani is under 'potential' threat and private security guards cannot perform the task of securing him as they are not allowed to carry weapons of higher calibre and sophistication.
The Home Ministry has tasked country's lead anti-Naxal operations force CRPF to take the responsibility with immediate effect after the proposal to this effect was cleared by the office of Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde.
The Left parties on Monday lashed out at the government for providing CRPF cover to Ambani, saying the common people have been left in the lurch as gruesome incidents of rape keep happening.
Under the 'Z' category security, Ambani will have pilot and escort vehicles with commandos armed with sophisticated weapons and they will give him proximate security every time he moves in Mumbai or any other part of country.
Sources had said a security and threat analysis conducted by central security agencies recommended that Ambani should be provided round-the-clock armed security cover, after which the Home Ministry issued the orders.
The Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) has earmarked a 28-member team for the task, drawing personnel from its battalion based in Uttar Pradesh.
Maharashtra Minister justifies Govt protection
Maharashtra Government on Monday justified the Centre's move to provide 'Z' category security to industrialist Mukesh Ambani, saying it was necessary to create conducive atmosphere for attracting investments in the State.
“It is important to protect businessmen in the state. Considering the seriousness of threat to the RIL Chairman, the Central Government felt it necessary to provide him security,” Rural Development Minister Jayant Patil told reporters in Mumbai.
Patil is also the Guardian Minister of Mumbai City district, where the business tycoon resides. "He (Ambani) will be paying the cost incurred on his security. Providing a security cover to Ambani does not mean the Government will deny protection to others," Patil said.
"We want industrialists to remain in Maharashtra. We want to create proper environment for investment," he added.