After the outrageous Bannu jailbreak in April, everyone expected a huge jump in the budgetary allocations for the Central Prison Karachi – one of the most dangerous prisons in the country. But the expectations were dealt a blow, as the new budget cut down the jail’s expenses by 16 per cent as compared to this fiscal year.
The Karachi jail – the largest in the province – currently houses more than 3,000 prisoners, including 100 high-profile militants. In the 2011-12 fiscal year, the prison was allocated Rs211.23 million, but the Sindh government has decided to allocate Rs177.44 million for the jail in the upcoming financial year.
The overall budget for jails and remand homes in the province, however, has witnessed a 13 per cent increase from Rs2.03 billion in 2011-12 to Rs2.35 billion in 2012-13, with around Rs1.25 billion dedicated to development schemes.
While talking to The Express Tribune, the Karachi Prisons DIG Nusrat Mangan said that the budget was expected to increase by 10 to 15 per cent. “We certainly did not expect a decrease [in the budget] as we are running a number of rehabilitation programmes for inmates and house the highest number of prisoners in Sindh,” he complained.
Mangan said that he had not seen the budget documents so far but the staff salaries and funds allocated to house inmates and provide them with basic necessities like food, medicines and clothes should not be reduced. After the Taliban attack at the Bannu jail, the Sindh government had promised the jail management of providing mobile phone jammers and CCTV cameras. “The central prison is yet to receive the facilities despite the fact that it is at high risk,” he said.
Meanwhile, the budget for another jail facility in the city, the Malir jail, was also cut down for the upcoming fiscal year. The prison was given Rs63.26 million in 2011-12, but for next year, it has been allocated Rs62.21 million. A small decrease apparently, but a significant one considering the growing threat of militancy.
In the new budget, a fair increase in funds has been made for the women’s jail and the juvenile jail in the city, especially the former which saw its budget increase from Rs3.69 million to Rs9.42 million.
Published In The Express Tribune, June 13th, 2012.
More in SindhMurders: Two shot dead; two bodies found