ISLAMABAD: The capital police are likely to face financial crunch during the remaining part of the fiscal year 2019-20, as they will spend a significant part of their budget on maintaining law and order and other arrangements during the upcoming Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl’s (JUI-F) Azadi March.
Officers in the police told Dawn on condition of anonymity that the police had made a request to the government for financial assistance to bear the expense of arrangements being made to deal with the Azadi March, but the government flatly turned it down. They said that under such circumstances the police highups had decided to spend the remaining development funds from the police budget for fiscal year 2019-20 to meet the expense.
The financial assistance was sought to bear the expenses of securing containers, arranging accommodation for police and paramilitary troops called from other provinces, meals and transportation, they stated.
Asks them to use funds from their own budget for Azadi March arrangements
The sources said that initially the capital police had sought financial assistance of Rs270 million for a fortnight and later slashed it to Rs130 million for a week.
Later, the demand for assistance was further reduced to Rs50 million for only three days, but that too was turned down, the officers said. They added that the government had asked the police to meet the financial requirements from their own resources.
The officers said that now the police had decided to utilise their remaining development budget i.e. Rs35 million reserved for purchase of vehicles and equipments.
The capital police have limited resources to generate funds, they said, adding that they had some petrol pumps which had been given on rent and the money from this was used for the welfare of police.
Besides, the police generate money from entry passes of the Diplomatic Enclave.
Only the development funds will be utilised to bear the expenses related to Azadi March, they said, adding that bills for the expenses exceeding the police budget would be sent to the government for payment.
However, it will be a lengthy process and there is no surety that the government will pay the remaining bills, they said. The officers said that under such circumstances payment of the vendors and contractors, who would provide services to the police during Azadi March, could be delayed.
Meanwhile, a contingent of Punjab Constabulary comprising 1,000 officials reached the federal capital, while the personnel of Frontier Constabulary have also started arriving, said sources.
They said that 600 FC officials had arrived so far who would stay in the FC barracks at F-6. They added that the remaining 2,400 would arrive by October 29.
A contingent of Azad Kashmir Police comprising 300 officials will also reach Islamabad within three days, the officers said, adding that so far there was no reply from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Giglit-Baltistan and other police departments in response to a demand for manpower.
The sources said that earlier the capital police had demanded 27,000 officials from them, but later the demand was cut to 15,000 personnel.
Arrangements have been made at the Police Lines Headquarters, Sports Complex and Haj Complex to provide accommodation to the personnel arriving from other cities.
They said that a contract had also been awarded to three vendors to provide meals to these officials thrice a day.
Published in Dawn, October 27th, 2019