KARACHI: Financially-strapped Karachi Metropolitan Corporation’s employees will not get their salaries and pensions disbursed before Eid due to inordinate delay in release of funds by the Sindh government, it emerged on Saturday.

Well-placed sources told Dawn that the provincial government not only delayed the release of funds to the municipal administration, but it also shrank by 30 per cent the amount of total funds required by the KMC to meet its expenditures in June.

They said that the KMC received funds from the provincial government on May 30 on account of salary and pension for the month of June in advance.

However, the sources said, the municipal administration could not disburse the salary and pension to the KMC employees before the eve of Eidul Fitr as the provincial government delayed the release of funds which were still not cleared by the banks.

They said that Rs215.489 million was required for disbursement of KMC employees’ salaries and pensions, but the provincial government released only Rs150.842m.

The sources said that the KMC needed actual funds to the tune of Rs805.536m for the month of June to meet its expenditures including the payment of employees’ salaries and pensions. However, they said, the Sindh government released only Rs563m and withheld remaining Rs241.661m.

Talking to Dawn, Mayor Wasim Akhtar said that a number of civic and municipal problems of the city would have been resolved, had the municipal administration of the city got required funds from the provincial government.

He said that the payment of salaries and pensions to the KMC employees was delayed solely due to “lacklustre performance” of the provincial government.

“The funds were to be released on May 27 by the Sindh government”, he said and deplored that the money had not yet been transferred in the KMC accounts.

“Had the provincial government wanted employees’ salaries and pensions disbursed before Eid, it would have released the funds to KMC [on time] on or before May 27,” he added.

269 Bagh Ibne Qasim gardeners given cheques

Earlier, the mayor deplored that the provincial government withheld every month Rs500m funds generated and collected through Zila Octroi Tax. “We can resolve several city problems, if we get full share of Octroi Tax by the provincial government,” he added.

He was talking to media persons after distributing cheque of Rs5,000 each among 269 gardeners of the Bagh Ibne Qasim as reward in appreciation of services they rendered for the renovation and restoration of the iconic park.

KMC’s Metropolitan Commissioner Dr Saifur Rehman, senior coordination director Masood Alam, director general parks Afaq Mirza and media director Bashir Saddozai were also present on the occasion.

The mayor said while the city’s municipal government was facing acute shortage of funds for the uplift of Karachi, the provincial government appeared uninterested in the development of the city.

He lauded the services of the gardeners and said that the iconic park stretching over 130 acres along the coast, which was in a highly dilapidated condition, could not have been renovated and restored without their hard work. “Everyone in the country including Prime Minister Imran Khan was so happy to see the park so artfully renovated and restored for the public,” he added.

He termed the restoration of the park a great success adding that the municipal administration completed the task despite limited resources and acute shortage of funds.

Mr Akhtar said that the KMC wanted to pay the gardeners a month’s salary as reward for their hard work, but it did not have sufficient funds. “They have been given reward of Rs5,000 as Eidee,” he added. He said that the KMC did not even have funds to disburse the salaries of doctors and staff of the fire brigade department.

Published in Dawn, June 2nd, 2019

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