New Delhi: The NDA government will ensure the autonomous character of National Investigation Agency (NIA) is not tampered with, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh said on Thursday.
"I want to make it clear that NIA is an autonomous body and shall remain so. It's the resolve of our government to ensure that the autonomous nature of the agency is not tampered with," Singh said, speaking at the foundation stone laying ceremony of the anti-terror agency's headquarters here.
He complimented the NIA on "establishing credibility at a time when there is a general crisis of credibility" and expressed hope that it would continue to do excellent work in future too.
He asked the NIA officials to be abreast of new technology and keep on improving their professional excellence.
"From my side, I can assure that the government will continue to extend all support to any step meant for enhancing the capability of the agency," he said.
Singh began his speech by expressing surprise at a comment made by NIA Chief Sharad Kumar where he credited the Home Minister for the success of the probe agency.
Kumar, while welcoming the Home Minister, had said, "Under your leadership, NIA has achieved a success rate of 95 per cent (in arresting terror suspects) and conviction rate of 92 per cent".
The Home Minister said, "As I was hearing the DG, NIA, I was surprised that he credited me for the success of the agency. I guess it was only out of respect and was said as a matter of routine."
The construction of NIA headquarters is scheduled to be completed within 18 months at a cost of Rs 36 crore.
The Office Complex comprising Administration Building will have nine floors with a total area of 90,061 sq ft with two basements having an additional 8672 sq ft area.
The project is being executed by the National Building Construction Corporation (NBCC) Ltd.
NIA has been operating out of rented accomodations so far.