SRINAGAR: Police stations in Jammu and Kashmir will now get Rs one lakh each to cover expenses of investigating cases.
"I propose to allocate Rs One lakh each in favour of all the 193 police stations of the state as 'cost of investigation'. Having the legitimate financial resource will certainly uplift the image of police stations in the minds of common masses," state's Finance Minister Haseeb Drabu said in his budget speech in the state assembly here today.
Drabu said the police stations had never been provided any specific financial resources to meet routine expenditure for investigating crimes. "Even as we speak, no police station, the primary interface with the citizens for resolution of law-and-order issues, has ever been provided any specific financial resources to meet the routine expenditure such as the cost of investigation of the crimes. This includes basic things like petrol or stationary," he said.
He said the CAG had pointed out that from 2009-10 to 2013-14, allotment of fuel to district police stations for running their police vehicles was virtually non-existent. "Such is the inefficiency of the system, that one-third of the fuel quota was being consumed in to and fro journeys by vehicles from police stations to petrol pumps located at the district headquarters.
"With this kind of a setup, the SHO has nowhere but to look for manna from heaven. This has often resulted in the perception of police station and its personnel being corrupt," he said. Drabu said budgetary announcements in the past had sometimes led to inappropriate, unethical behaviour and petty corruption.
"It may not be inappropriate to say that at times unethical behaviour and petty corruption has been a consequence, undoubtedly an unintended one, of budgetary announcements," he said. Citing an example of austerity drive of few years ago, Drabu said the big cut that Finance Department enforced was on tea served in offices.
"The tea never actually stopped but its financing changed. The tea that Hon'ble Ministers and officers had was paid, if whispers in the secretariat are to be believed, from faking printer cartridge bills. This to me sanctifies unethical behaviour and breeds corruption at the lowest level and the system not only condones it but also internalizes it as acceptable behavior," he added.