Capital’s police stations get separate budgets

Published June 23, 2021
For the first time the government has disclosed the details of budgetary allocations not only for Islamabad police but also for the premium civil intelligence agency of the country - Intelligence Bureau (IB). — AFP/File
For the first time the government has disclosed the details of budgetary allocations not only for Islamabad police but also for the premium civil intelligence agency of the country - Intelligence Bureau (IB). — AFP/File

ISLAMABAD: For the first time the government has disclosed the details of budgetary allocations not only for Islamabad police but also for the premium civil intelligence agency of the country - Intelligence Bureau (IB).

The budget documents show separate allocations for various wings of the capital police, including police stations, investigation wing and the Special Branch.

The interior ministry has shattered the longstanding hegemony of the police headquarters by granting financial autonomy to the wings which will no longer be dependent on the police headquarters for funds to meet their routine expenditures.

The government has streamlined the release of funds to the 22 police stations in the capital and each will have an annual budget of Rs6.5 million for the fiscal year 2021-22.

This includes Rs5.2 million operating expenses, including Rs200,000 for communications, Rs2.4 million for utilities, Rs820,000 for travel and transport and Rs1.7 million for general expenditures such as stationery. Besides, each PS will have Rs1 million for repair and maintenance, transport, equipment, furniture and fixture etc.

Investigation wing, Special Branch given financial autonomy

The investigation wing has been allocated Rs30.81 million compared to a negligible amount as an advance budget in the current system.

Meanwhile, a senior police officer told Dawn that the traditional practice in the police department encouraged corruption as police stations and other departments filed bills of expenditures incurred by them to the police headquarters periodically.

“But the department needed money to execute routine functions and many expenses such as travel cannot be made on credit. Therefore, police personnel asked the complainant or the accused to pay for stationery, travel cost and other expenses,” the officer said, adding: “Now for the first time each PS and other departments have been granted budget to meet their routine expenses.”

The idea to allocate funds for investigation of cases as per need and to release the same soon after the start of an investigation was initiated by SSP Mohammad Ilyas in 2014 when he was heading the investigation wing, the officer said.

Mr Ilyas calculated the estimated cost of the investigation of different cases such as murder, robbery, auto-theft, and found that the allocated amount was peanuts.

The root cause for seeking money from the accused or the complainant in the name of investigation expense by the police personnel was lack of funds, the officer said. It also resulted in corruption in the police.

“Bills submitted to the police headquarters were not reimbursed due to traditional red tape,” the officer added. In 2014, Rs100,000 were released by the then IGP Tahir Alam to each police station for investigation.

In 2018, IGP Dr Sultan Azam Temuri also released funds to the police stations to meet the expenses of investigation.

Mr Temuri also convinced the Punjab Forensic Science Agency to directly charge a fee from the capital police instead of officials who took samples there for analysis.

But it was the discretionary decision of the IGPs and was wound up later.

The interior ministry has also allocated Rs67.52 million for Special Branch which includes Rs17.75 million as operating expenses.

Similarly, for the first time, the government has disclosed the details of budgetary allocations for IB.

The budget of the agency has been increased by 16.12pc for the upcoming fiscal year against the allocation in 2020-21.

The total budget of the IB for the next fiscal year is Rs8.03 billion - Rs2.21 billion for operating expenses and Rs5.82 for employees-related expenditures, including salaries and allowances. The total budget of the IB in 2020-21 was Rs6.91 billion and the same amount has been spent without the need for a supplementary grant.

Earlier, the budget documents did not specify segregated allocations for the employees-related expenditures and operating expenses incurred by the agency.

Incidentally, the budget of the IB headquarters has been reduced from Rs4.21 billion in 2020-21 to Rs3.4 billion for 2021-22, which includes Rs2 billion as employees-related expenses and Rs1.4 billion for operating expenditures.

The IB Academy Islamabad has been allocated Rs150 million against Rs85.97 million in the outgoing fiscal year.

The documents also highlighted the operating expenses of various IB offices across the country, including Rs26 million for the AJK region, and Rs26 million for Gilgit-Baltistan.

The operating budget of IB Islamabad region is Rs100 million, Punjab Rs300 million, Sindh Rs150 million, KP Rs120 million and Balochistan Rs62 million.

Published in Dawn, June 23rd, 2021

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