Punjab budget focuses on modernization of police force, counter intelligence and threat of combat gangsters

Punjab CM Bhagwant Mann and Finance Minister Harpal Singh Cheema with the Punjab budget for the financial year 2023-24 ahead of its presentation to the state assembly, Chandigarh on Friday. (Image: PTI)

Punjab CM Bhagwant Mann said Rs 40 crore has been offered to purchase equipment to strengthen the counter-intelligence grid and Rs 64 crore allocated to modernize the police force

Amid opposition targeting the state for bad law and order, the Punjab government has allocated a budget allocation of Rs 10,523 crore to the police force to augment its lines of defense to counter the threat increase in gangsters and strengthen its counter-intelligence wing.

While announcing the budget, Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann said the government had offered Rs 40 crore to buy equipment to bolster the counter-intelligence grid in the state. Also, Rs 64 crore has been proposed to modernize the police force. The state government has allocated Rs 10,523 crore to the Punjab Police in 2023-24 which is 11% more than the previous financial year.

To strengthen infrastructure in border districts, Rs 40 crore has been offered to install CCTV cameras near the international border, provide adequate lighting and purchase premium vehicles for mobility. To counter cyber criminals, the state government has offered Rs 30 crore in addition to allocating Rs 33 crore to purchase land for police lines and police stations, and Rs 10 crore for renovation. In addition, special aid of Rs 26 crore has been offered to help Police Housing Corporation repay a loan taken from Housing and Urban Development Corporation Ltd.

The Punjab police have recently been criticized for their failure to control the increase in gangster and anti-national activities, particularly the incident at Ajnala police station by supporters of Khalistani leader Amritpal Singh. Senior police officers have repeatedly complained of inadequate logistics to counter growing threats from gangsters and terrorist groups. The state has also witnessed a massive increase in incursions of weapons carried by drones across the border. Punjab has also requested help from central agencies to counter growing threats across the border.

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