KARACHI: The Sindh government on Thursday announced almost 10 per cent increase in the security budget for the first quarter of the next financial year, starting on July 1.

At the same time, Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah admitted that the menace of street crime could not be brought under control though his government had increased the budget more than 50pc for policing and law and order during the last five years.

“No doubt, street crime could not be controlled as they should have been,” he said while delivering his last budget speech in the Sindh Assembly on Thursday.

“I am, however, hopeful that the problem will be overcome with the passage of time by dedicated efforts of our law-enforcement agencies,” he added.

Murad hopeful street crime will soon be overcome

The budget documents show that the provincial government will be spending 14pc of the total budget on security-related issues.

“The home department has been allocated Rs100.48bn as against Rs90.5bn for the current financial year,” say the budget documents.

The allocation includes Rs89.94bn for the Sindh police with an increase of 11pc.

To strengthen law-enforcing agencies, the government has promised Rs3.3bn for creation of 6,061 new vacancies and Rs2.4bn for purchase of latest equipment and high-tech armoured vehicles.

“There are certain measures which are out of mandate and purview of the provincial government,” said Mr Shah while pointing out the areas where the Sindh government had sought assistance from Islamabad.

Those areas included establishment of an integrated national database comprising information about CNIC, driving licence, vehicle number plate, arms licence of the citizens, etc.

The chief minister further said the federal government had been approached for establishment of a unified criminal record database at the national level with access available to all the law-enforcement agencies and developing a mechanism for effective monitoring of social media, including Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter, etc.

The documents also propose several schemes, including revamping of Counter-Terrorism Department and creating a professional and dedicated force named Counter-Terrorism Force.

They also suggest bringing the compensation package at par with other provinces for those police officers who lose their lives in the line of duty or get injured.

The budget also recommends creation of 2,782 new posts for security of CPEC-related projects and 2,959 posts for improvement in Crimes Branch and traffic police.

Published in Dawn, May 11th, 2018