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KARACHI: The Karachi Metropolitan Corporation has asked the provincial government to restore its main revenue sources such as property and local taxes to untangle its financial woes.

While confiding this to Dawn on Tuesday, informed sources said the financial constraints plagued the municipal services provider to the extent that it was not even able to make payments for patients’ food and repair of medical equipment at its hospitals, besides repair and maintenance of street lights.

“There are no funds for medicines for poor patients and repair and maintenance of parks in the city,” they said.

The sources said it was decided in a meeting chaired by the chief secretary that Rs200 million which were being deducted from grant-in-aid of Rs500m and paid to the Karachi Development Authority per month would be released to the KMC.

However, they said, the provincial government released only Rs430m, despite the fact that the local government in its summary to the chief minister had recommended to increase the grant by Rs200m for payment of salaries to the KMC employees exclusively.

The sources said the provincial government enhanced Octroi Zila Tax (OZT) by 15 per cent on account of salaries on cumulative basic pay to all local councils from Dec 2010, but KMC was ignored.

They said Mayor Wasim Akhtar wrote to the provincial government to enhance the KMC grant-in-aid to the extent of Rs500m and direct the quarters concerned to facilitate KMC funds’ generation through the revenue sources devolved to the district municipal committees.

The sources recalled that earlier licence fee on mulching of animals, parking charges, toll tax from link road between National Highway and Superhighway, commerciali­sation fee on KMC roads and fee on BTS towers were collected by the KMC and now these revenue sources were devolved to DMCs.

Published in Dawn, May 2nd, 2018