'Captive' economy grows by leaps and bounds

The state, which is currently third in the country when it comes to per capita earnings of prison inmates, is likely to reach the top slot in the category by next fiscal.

Published: 21st October 2013 08:44 AM  |   Last Updated: 21st October 2013 08:45 AM   |  A+A-

By Arun M

The state, which is currently third in the country when it comes to per capita earnings of prison inmates, is likely to reach the top slot in the category by next fiscal.

“The Prisons Department is eyeing the second position nationally, in the current fiscal, as the turnover would touch Rs 14 crore. We aim to attain the first slot in the category by  generating an income of Rs 21 crore by next fiscal,” said Alexander Jacob, DGP, Prisons.

The per capita earnings would increase due to spurt in revenue, because prisons in the state have lesser number of inmates (7,000) compared to Delhi (15,000), the DGP said.

According to NCRB Prison Statistics-2012, inmates of Kerala prisons have recorded a per capita earning of Rs 18,069.7. Delhi (`23,817.4) and Chandigarh (Rs 21,812) are in the first and second slots. The national average for 2012 is Rs 3,329.9. Delhi grossed Rs 28.85 crore as sales proceeds from goods produced by tjail inmates, followed by Bihar (Rs 17.09 crore), UP (Rs 14.56 crore) and Kerala (Rs 12.55 crore).

Apart from food products such as chapathis, cakes, idlis and chicken curry, the department has launched production of red bricks and inter-locking bricks in the Poojappura Central Jail, which has the potential to create a annual revenue of Rs 3 crore. The laterite stone cutting undertaken by prisoners in Cheemeni Open Jail, Kasargod has generated Rs 35 lakh. The revenue could go up to Rs 1 crore this fiscal, officials said. A similar exercise in Viyyur Central Jail generated Rs 40 lakh. The income from the stone-cutting business is expected to rise.

The solar energy systems in the jails across the state have also helped the department to save on electricity bills. The solar units produce power worth Rs 1.5 crore, which is used for lighting prison compound, cooking, water heating and pumping water.

As per the NCRB statistics, the sanctioned budget in 2012-13 fiscal was Rs 11,279.4 lakh. This shows an increase of 9.3 percentage against the Rs 10,323.1 lakh in 2011-12.

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