The 90 lakh private security guards in the country will have a big role to play in the distribution of the coronavirus vaccine, Union minister G Kishan Reddy said on Thursday, as the government plans to roll out a massive vaccination drive across the country. Reddy also praised the private security industry for its "yeoman service" during the pandemic, prompting the government to cover it under "essential services".
"The private security industry will have a big role to play in the distribution of the coronavirus vaccine as it will be a big task for the government, police or officials to distribute and administer vaccines to 130 crore people across the country. "With such a large workforce, only security guards can ensure wider and faster distribution of vaccines and that every household is covered in the vaccination programme," he said addressing a conference of the Central Association of Private Security Industry (CAPSI) here.
The number of private security guards in the country is estimated to be about 90 lakh. Reddy said private security guards are everywhere — at hospitals, banks, markets, institutions — and they worked as frontline warriors in the time of the pandemic, according to a press release issued by the CAPSI.
"We consider the private security industry as an integral part of India's security paraphernalia and the Home Ministry has been taking various steps to promote and strengthen it," he said. The Union minister for home said the home ministry will take up the issue of relaxations in the GST regime for the private security industry with the finance ministry, the release said.
He said the government is committed to making the private security industry meet global standards and promoting ease of doing business in the industry. Additional Secretary in the home ministry Vivek Bhardwaj said the ministry would write to the health ministry to include private security guards in the frontline workers' list so that they could also be inoculated in the first phase of the vaccination programme.
Speaking at the event, CAPSI Chairman Kunwar Vikram Singh said the association has entered into agreements with various global agencies to improve the employability of the private security guards globally. "We have already tied up with three international organisations that will impart a 40-hour training module to our guards to arm them with certification that will help them get employment globally. Indian private security guards are in much demand globally and this is the opportunity we need to grab," he said.