KARACHI: The Sindh government on Monday announced a 10 per cent increase in the budget for security with a plan to recruit 10,000 more policemen in the next financial year to “improve police-to-citizens ratio, especially in Karachi”.

“When hate rhetoric permeates our worshipping places, our educational institutions and media outlets, we are faced with a clear and present danger at our doorsteps,” said Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah while delivering his budget speech in the Sindh Assembly.

“In these trying times, law and order remains at the forefront of our efforts to create a nation that is safe for all its citizens regardless of caste, creed and religious affiliation. At the same time, strengthening our law enforcement agencies through trainings and equipment is at the forefront of our fight against terrorism,” he added.

Plan to recruit 10,000 policemen in Sindh next fiscal

The chief minister said the budgetary allocation for security in the financial year 2017-18 was proposed at Rs92.91 billion, reflecting an increase of 10pc over the allocation of Rs84.26bn during the outgoing fiscal year. It is proposed that 10,000 new posts of different ranks will be created in Sindh police and Rs2bn will be spent on purchasing vehicles for the law enforcement agency.

“Forensic laboratory at an estimated cost of Rs2.6bn is being constructed to provide Sindh police state-of-the-art centre to investigate and solve complex crimes,” CM Shah said, referring to key features of the budget proposal for the provincial security apparatus.

Intelligence school, data centre

“Establishment of intelligence school and data centre for Sindh police is also another plan in the next financial year at a cost of Rs280 million. Similarly, 3,000 posts are proposed for security of CPEC-related projects,” he said.

Mr Shah said that over the past several years, under the Pakistan Peoples Party’s provincial government, Rs1bn had been disbursed among the families of those policemen who had laid down their lives in the line of duty, “as a token of our gratitude”.

“Pakistan Army has imparted training to 3,000 newly recruited police and the Sindh government for that purpose has spent Rs300m. The personnel trained by our professional army are expected to bring about attitudinal change and vigour in our police force,” he added.

Regarding the video surveillance project which has so far been executed only in Karachi, the chief minister said that in the next budget funds worth Rs200m would be utilised to carry out feasibility study for installation of security cameras in major cities of the province.

“We are also making efforts to improve our prisons. It is high time that we convert our traditional prisons into correctional facilities,” he said.

For the next financial year, the budget for prisons is being increased to Rs4bn. This reflects an increase of 19pc over the allocation for this financial year. Similarly, Rs195m has been earmarked for installation of CCTV cameras in various prisons of Sindh.

Published in Dawn, June 6th, 2017

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