The Prison and Correctional Services Department of Telangana announced sale proceeds of Rs 599.89 crore, produced by the sale of various products made by its inmates and also from the petrol stations operated by it. This is the country's highest revenue proceeds recorded by a department of prisons, with Tamil Nadu coming in a distant second with Rs 72.96 crore and Maharashtra third with Rs 29.40 crore in 2019.
In 2019, the total value of goods manufactured by prisoners in prisons across the country was Rs 846.04 Crore. According to data released for 2019 by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), the value of the goods produced by per inmate was the highest in Telangana at Rs 8.93 lakh, followed by Tamil Nadu at Rs 49.611 and Chandigarh at Rs 41.478.
The prisoners engaged in labour, according to the NCRB, are paid a nominal salary based on their skillset. An average of Rs 103.19, Rs 89.54 and Rs 80.06 were paid per day, respectively, to skilled, semi-skilled, and unskilled prisoners. Prison officials here have said the department earned more from its fuel stations, which employs more than 247 people. The Chanchalguda fuel station, which was built six years ago, reaped rich dividends.
Currently, the agency maintains 20 gasoline stations in the city and other areas where inmates, released inmates and former prison officials served. The department has opened 'My Country' outlets and Ayurvedic villages, in addition to the fuel bunks, where prisoners sell various goods including food items prepared by their fellow inmates. Cherlapally Central Prison Superintendent M Sampath said the department had diversified catering units to meet different client needs. Inmates also produce steel furniture that schools, hospitals, and police training centres demand.
This unit itself, he explained, received Rs 15 crore per year, adding that there were other units that prepare bed sheets and wood products. The stitching unit had fabricated eight lakh face masks this year.