LAHORE- The Punjab government has allocated around Rs 27 billion for the police in the forthcoming budget (2008-09) but for the first time the allocation has been linked with the social audit of the law-enforcing agency to be carried out to monitor the performance of the police, it was reliably learnt on Friday. According to sources, the police hierarchy is, however, opposing the move on one pretext or the other, while the government seems determined to conduct social audit of the police department on quarterly basis to see whether or not the police officials were performing their duties as per public satisfaction. The government has allocated around Rs 27 billion to the police in the budget for the fiscal year 2008-09 against the last year's revised estimate of Rs 29.44 billion. The sources believed that last year the government had earmarked a record amount for the Punjab police but the police badly failed to achieve anything extra-ordinary except considerable increase in the crime rate across the Punjab. "The government will carry out social audit of the police besides the financial audit this year," sources added. "The government is not going to believe on the police efficiency on the basis of the tall claims and statements by the police high ups themselves. The provincial government will monitor their performance through social audit to be carried out by the professional and independent auditors," a high-ranking official told this reporter, seeking anonymity. Elaborating the social audit plan, he said that the auditors would interview the complainants, victims, criminals and policemen to check the attitude and performance of the police in and outside the police station. The government can extend allocation but only in case of extra-ordinary performance of the police department, he added. Sources in the finance department further disclosed that unlike past practice, no additional funds would be provided to the police this year over and above the amount being allocated in the annual budget. However, additional funds and grants may be given to the police if it showed extra-ordinary performance, which must be depicted in the proposed social audit, the sources said, while adding that government may curtail the proposed budget allocation if the police high ups did not agree to the proposal about the social audit. The sources believed that the police would have to rely on the amount to be allocated in the budget as the Punjab Finance Department is already facing financial constraints due to varying factors. According to the sources, Inspector General Police Punjab Shaukat Javed visited the office of the Punjab Finance Minister Tanveer Ashraf Kaira the other day and demanded an increase in the budget allocation. The Minister assured the IGP that the development budget would not be curtailed, while at the same time asking him to improve performance of his department as per peoples' expectations. The Minister was of the view that the maintenance allowance would be enhanced for repairing of various buildings and funds would also be increased for construction and repair of police stations. He further assured that the government would provide all necessary resources to the police but it is the prime responsibility of the police to improve the law and order situation. The Minister also made it clear to the IGP that all the funds provided to the police would be checked on quarterly basis. It may be noted that that around Rs 700 million are spent on the repair and maintenance of the police vehicles every year while 70 to 80 per cent of the amount allocated to the police is spent on the salaries of the police as more than 150,000 policemen are serving in the Punjab police.