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KARACHI: Mayor Wasim Akhtar said on Wednesday that the revenue of the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) was being drained into other departments and organisations as the provincial government had taken over the development works which were to be carried out by the municipal body.

“Karachi would have been ahead of Lahore now had it got its right share in resource distribution,” he said, adding that the establishment of six districts was injustice to Karachi.

Addressing a press conference at the KMC head office, the mayor said that people of the city were deprived of clean water and proper sewerage system, garbage lifting and disposal was also not being done and the city had no electricity.

He said that he would go to court for the recovery of Rs800 million dues outstanding against the Karachi Port Trust.

Besides, Mr Akhtar said, the Allied Bank withheld Rs1.75 billion and the provincial government curtailed Rs34bn from the OZT (Octroi Zila Tax) share of the KMC.

“Karachi is being subjected to injustice under the veil of SLGO 2013” and the Sindh government was carrying out development works which were supposed to be done by the KMC. Hence the revenue of the KMC was going to other organisations, he said.

Municipal Commissioner Dr Syed Saif-ur-Rehman, land committee chairman Arshad Hassan, law committee chairman Arif Khan Advocate, chairmen of other KMC council committees and heads of departments were also present on the occasion.

The mayor added that the powers given to provinces with the 18th Amendment were not exercised. “I am fighting for the local government system of the whole country and not just for Karachi,” he said.

Mr Akhtar said that the KMC had 35 departments and about 13,000 staff and their salary amount increased every year but the KMC received the same amount, which was pure injustice. He said the KMC was already facing a deficit of Rs1.1bn in the head of salary disbursement.

He said the KMC had submitted 143 development schemes for 2017-18 budget with the coordination of all six DMCs but the provincial government included not a single scheme out of these in its uplift plan.

“We have given Rs500m to each union council” which is a first in the city, he added.

Giving summary of KMC’s performance from Oct 2016 to April 2018, the mayor said that a total of 473 schemes were taken in the head of ADP in 2016-17 out of which 286 were completed and remaining 187 carried forward to 2017-18.

He said that total cost of the schemes was over Rs10bn.

In the current fiscal year till April 2018, a total of 459 schemes were taken up which included 272 schemes initiated by the mayor and during 2017-18 total expenditures incurred on these were Rs2.5bn.

To a question, he said that 154 schemes had been completed and 169 were ongoing.

To another query, he said that 2017-18 expenditure for salary was Rs5.3bn and pension Rs2bn whereas Rs507m was spent till now out of total Rs2.5bn allocated for union council development programme.

Presenting the comparison of revenue generation in last three years, he said a total of about Rs1bn revenue was generated till April 2018 in the current year whereas Rs1.1bn and Rs1.2bn were collected during 2016-17 and 2015-16 respectively.

The KMC faced shortfall of Rs34.8bn in the OZT share during previous years whereas the government of Sindh had taken back revenue departments like master plan, local taxes, parking plaza Saddar, bachat bazaars, charged parking, veterinary and BTS towers which had an estimated revenue collection of Rs1.8bn annually.

Dr Saif-ur-Rehman said the KMC had made a plan to make the city beautiful, including the 30 major storm-water drains, for which cleaning campaign will start from Friday.

Published in Dawn, May 10th, 2018