LAHORE  - The Punjab Finance Department has forwarded a summary to the Chief Minister’s Secretariat for approval regarding purchase of modern weapons and bulletproof jackets worth Rs 500 million for the police personnel, The Nation has learnt.

Sources in the Finance Department disclosed the Police Department had earlier forwarded a summary, demanding Rs 980 million for the purchase of jackets, ammunition and guns, including expenses to be incurred on capacity building of the security officials. The amount also included Rs 90 million as the second installment of the budget 2013-14 for the Police Department, they added.

The Finance Department had earlier rejected the summary with a note that the treasury could not meet the demand for the huge funds. The government constituted a committee comprising the finance secretary, the home secretary and the IGP to look into the demand of the police.

The committee recommended a cut in the demand and forwarded a proposal for Rs 500 million for the Police Department. The Finance Department will transfer the funds to the Police Department after the CM’s Office approves the summary.

Sources in the Punjab Police Department say it will purchase about 4,000 bulletproof jackets, 100 SMG, LMG guns, ammunition and 10 heavy machine guns. It was also told that about Rs 280 million would be spent on the purchase of bulletproof jackets as one such jacket costs approximately Rs 70,000 while price of a modern heavy gun is estimated up to Rs 8 million.

It was also told that the security officials would be trained to counter wave of terrorism in the province that threatens lives and property of the people as well as topples peace. The excess funding will be used for police operations against terrorists.

The Punjab government has also approved a grant of Rs 55 million for establishing a sniper squad in the Police Department that it misses badly.