LAHORE  - The provincial government has cranked up spending on law and order with the Punjab police budget allocation alone rising by an unprecedented Rs10 billion for the fiscal year 2013-14.
During its maiden budget estimates presented in the Punjab Assembly, the newly-elected government has proposed an allocation of Rs71 billion for the police department against the last year’s allocation of Rs62 billion.
Allocation for police has been increased from Rs62251 million to Rs71305 million in. In this way, an additional allocation of Rs9053 million has been provided to the police that represents an increase of 14.5 per cent over budget estimates of 2012-13, says the budget document.
The country’s largest law enforcing agency will use bullions of rupees for massive expansion and re-equipping to deal with rising internal security threats.
In their campaign manifesto, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif had pledged to improve the police culture by introducing the much-needed reforms and providing more resources to the law enforcing agency.
According to the budget papers, the government has earmarked over Rs93 billion for the Pubic Order and Safety Affairs. Allocation for Law Courts and Prisons Administration Department in 2013-14 also been increased by 11.5 per cent and 9 per cent, respectively in comparison with the budget estimates of 2012-13. As per the breakup of these allocations for different departments classified under pubic order and safety affairs, Rs10 billion are earmarked for Law Courts, Rs57 million for fire protection, Rs5839 million for Prison Administration and Operation and Rs6015 million for administration of public order.  The increase depicts the government’s commitment to improve law and order and administration of justice, the budget paper claims.
Noteworthy in these allocations is a block allocation of Rs1000 million for Law Courts to provide resources for creation of 9500 new posts in law courts including 1013 posts of Civil Judges and Additional Session Judges in Punjab in accordance with the requirement of the National Judicial Policy.
Lahore police would consume more funds as compared to the other districts while major chunk of the grants would be used under the head of fixed salaries. Earlier, the Punjab police had requested the provincial government for Rs77billion funs for the wages, development projects, fuel, uniform of the staff, Shaheed and welfare fund for the policemen. “Crime is becoming more sophisticated and we have to build our capacity both in terms of expertise and number of personnel. We are planning to provide specialised training for the officers to be deployed to various stations,” Lahore Operations Police Chief, DIG Muhammad Tahir Rai commented, when contacted.
Since the rule of law, justice, and order remain a key driver for the economic growth, the funds would help the department to materialize the CM’s dream of modern policing by utilizing expertise and resources, Lahore DIG (Operations) underlined.
An alleged robber was shot dead during an ‘encounter’ with the police in the Nawab Town police precincts on early Monday. Police said they signaled three suspected motorcyclists to stop at a picket but they opened fire on the cops, triggering a shootout.
As a result, one of the bandits died on the spot while his two accomplices managed to escape on foot by leaving their motorcycle on the road. The police have removed the body to the morgue for autopsy and are investigating.