PESHAWAR: Treasury members in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly on Tuesday asked the provincial government to provide funds to police on the basis of their performance.

They continued debate on the 2024-25 budget for the second consecutive day in a session chaired by Speaker Babar Saleem Swati.

Housing minister Dr Amjad Ali suggested that funds be released to the police in light of the crime rate.

`District police officers should be questioned about the increase in crime rates in their respective areas,` he said.

The minister said the provincial government has allocated Rs140 billion for law and order.He, in reference to the police crackdown on PTI workers before the February general elections, said, `Everyone knows what the police have done for the province.

Treasury, opposition pledge to make joint efforts for province’s rights

Dr Ali claimed that a DPO recently `reserved him for the activities of the establishment,` causing the crime rate in Swat district to go up 342 per cent.

He demanded that the chair ban police officials and other officials from uploading their videos on social media platforms, including TikTok, about their `overstated performance.The minister said government employees were hired and paid for specific jobs, so they didn`t extend any favour people by doing those jobs.

`There should be a carrot-and-stick policy in the police department. The government should punish the police officers who don`t perform their duties well, and others should be rewarded for good performance,` he said.

Dr Ali said he was arrested six times during the anti-PTI crackdown, and during detention, he was pressured to quit the party. He complained that the police event took away his 12-year-old son.Another treasury member, Khalid Khan, said the police had rendered tremendous sacrifices in the war on terror, leading to the restoration of peace in the province.

He, however, said the huge amount of Rs140 billion earmarked for the police in the next budget should be released on the basis of their performance.

Mr Khan said 40 people had been killed in his constituency,PK-62Charsadda,in just two months, but their families didn`t know the cause of the killings in gun attacks.

He demanded that the government ascertain the reasons for those killings.

`The law and order situation is really bad in Charsadda as the crime ratio is increasing. Instead of serving the people, the police have become the servants of rulers,` he said. Earlier, the treasury and opposition members pledged to make joint efforts to claim the province`s rights from the centre.

Speaking on a point of order, PTI MPA Nazir Ahmad Abbasi asked the chair to form a committee with representation of both sides of the aisle to take up the issue of the province`s rights and dues with the federal government.`Both the opposition and treasury can effectively plead the case of the province`s rights,` he said.

Mr Abbasi said unfortunately, out of the 23 per cent tax collected by the district administrations under the head of land transfers, 16.5 per cent went to the federal government and the rest to the province.

He added that the high taxation had destroyed the real estate business in the province.

The member said in the budget, the provincial government had reduced its share of that tax to three per cent to boostthe realestate business.

Opposition MPA Ahmad Kareem Kundi agreed to the proposal of joint efforts for the province`s rights, saying all opposition parties will stand with the government in its efforts to claim the due share of national resources from the centre.

Other members, including Adnan Khan, Taj Mohammad Khan, Rajab Ali Abbasi, Rehana Ismail, and Sobia Shahid, also participated in the budget debate.

The chair later adjourned the session until today (Wednesday).

Published in Dawn, May 29th, 2024

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