LAHORE, Dec 24: The Punjab police department is facing a financial crunch due to which many of its projects have come to a halt, it is learnt.
The department had so far received 20 to 25 per cent of the funds (the total budget for 2012-13 is Rs59.50 billion), a senior police officer told Dawn.
He said the Punjab government had been releasing funds bit by bit, which had led to financial crunch.
“The department needs at least Rs4 billion to meet the ongoing expenses,” said the official who requested anonymity.
The health department in Punjab is another one to have been facing financial crisis amid rumours of diversion of funds to the Bus Rapid System.
Of the total budget, he said, Rs53 billion funds were allocated under salary head for the 175,000 police officials and officers, Rs5 billion for petrol/diesel and Rs1 billion for electricity and gas. Consequently, he said, several development schemes and initiatives like funds for the families of martyred policemen, education and marriage of children, uniform, scholarship and investigation cost had been affected.
The department, he said, had utilised Rs80 million from the welfare funds of the Punjab police to disburse the amount among the families of the martyred policemen.
A welfare fund is constituted from the three per cent payment deducted from the gross salary of all Punjab police employees every month. The said funds are deposited with bank according to the policy.
As the funds for the families of the martyred policemen were not released and the amount of welfare head was used, the police department was facing a loss of Rs0.8 million every month in the form of interest to the bank.
Similarly, he said, the police department had utilised Rs970 million from the welfare funds for the police employees who required treatment and on marriages and schooling of their children.
He said thousands of policemen, especially the field force, could not get jerseys and other garments from the department.
He said the Punjab police department had received only Rs30.7 million out of the total budget of Rs1.2 billion allocated under the head of uniform, which was ridiculously low. Under the laid-down procedure and policy, he said, the department was bound to provide all its employees three shirts and as many trousers every year.
The accessories of the police uniform included a pair of shoes for three-year use, three pairs of socks every year, a jersey for three-year use, one security jacket for five-year use, a waistcoat for two-year use, a cap every year and an official belt kit for 10-year use.
Of the total budget of Rs1.90 billion allocated under the head of development schemes, the official said only Rs500 million had been given and this was not acceptable.
Development and renovation projects of the buildings, construction of new police stations, purchase of latest weapons and the scholarship scheme also have been stopped.