Second-largest piece of the budget’s pie goes to police

The provincial police budget for the current year will have to cater to the dues from last year, too.


Naeem Sahoutara/faraz Khan June 17, 2013
PHOTO: FILE

KARACHI:


With the deteriorating law and order situation, rise in crime rates and the targeted attacks on law enforcers in recent months, it comes as no surprise that the ‘public order and safety affairs’ budget for the financial year, 2013-14, has been allocated a handsome figure of Rs54.4 billion, making it the second largest sector after education.


The provincial police budget allocation stands at approximately Rs46.2 billion. Apart from this, Rs350 million have been allocated for investigations of economic crimes, Rs946 million for training, Rs2 billion for other civil armed forces while Rs525.1 million have been allocated for sundry expenses. Meanwhile, the Sindh government has also allocated Rs1.05 billion and Rs959 million for the construction and maintenance works of police infrastructure and jails, respectively. Additionally, Rs2.3 billion has been allocated for prison administration and operations which includes jails, convict settlements and other correctional facilities.

“To further strengthen our systems in Karachi, Rs400 million have been reserved for purchase and installation of surveillance cameras,” said the Sindh chief minister in his speech at the provincial assembly. “Also, in an effort to control the proliferation of illegal arms we have introduced the Computerised Arms Licensing System - Rs16.5 million have been earmarked for the project. With this we will able to keep an affective check over sale and purchase of arms.”

Overview of previous budget

Compared to last year’s budget, the current fiscal allocation for the provincial police has seen a mere 7.2 per cent increase from the Rs39.1 billion allocated for the fiscal year 2012-13. Despite the low increase, the Sindh government has promised to introduce 20,000 new posts to address the shortage of police personnel in the province.

During the concluding financial year, the police department was strengthened by procuring APCs worth Rs1.242 billion. Similarly, an amount of Rs2.79 million was spent to strengthen the law enforcement agencies, which included the provision of GSM locator facilities for the police. The CM, in his address, also apprised that Rs400 million were paid as compensation money for the families of the police personnel who sacrificed their lives in the line of duty.

Overlapping budgets

With an increase of just 7.2 per cent from the previous budget, a worrying factor for the police department is that they also have to address the dues from the previous fiscal year. These include operational as well as other sundry expenses which were supposed to be covered last year but could not be paid for because of various reasons.

“Last year, the police department was unable to buy arms and ammunitions, furniture, computers, technical instruments, vehicles and other infrastructure because of the caretaker government, the arrangements for the general elections as well as the with-holding of 10-15 per cent of the operating budget,” said Deputy Inspector General (Finance), Dost Ali Baloch, while talking to The Express Tribune. “We will have to cover all dues of the last budget from the next budget,” he said.

Justice Courts

The provincial judiciary is expected to receive Rs4.6 billion in the current fiscal year. For the subordinate judiciary, which caters to greater portion of the litigants, the budgetary allocations have been harshly cut-down to Rs 1.39 billion from the previous year’s Rs 2.84 billion. Under the annual development programme, 34 new schemes for the judicial buildings were announced with an estimated cost of Rs593 million in the current fiscal year.

No increased allocations have been made in the budget for the prosecution and information technology departments, which are in dire need to be upgraded along modern lines.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 18th, 2013.

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