ISLAMABAD: The Metropolitan Corporation Islamabad (MCI) on Thursday approved a significant increase in the cost of birth and death registration as well as other municipal services, such as trade licences.

The MCI approved the new municipal rates in a session chaired by Mayor Sheikh Anser Aziz. The new cost of birth and death certificates issued within a month of the birth or death, respectively, has been increased to Rs300 from Rs110.

The cost of certificates issued after a year has been increased to Rs600 from Rs230, and certificates issued after five years will cost Rs1,200, compared to the existing cost of Rs680.

The MCI has also increased the trade licence fees significantly. The fees for luxury hotels has been increased from Rs24,000 to Rs2.4 million per year.

Mayor Aziz justified the increase to Dawn after the session by saying that these rates were not revised for several years, and had been increased in the city’s interest.

“The revenue to be generated from various fees, such as the trade licence, will be spent on welfare projects for the residents of Islamabad,” he said, adding that the revisions were made with the consent of members of the ruling and opposition parties.

Three to four star hotels’ trade licences fees have been increased from Rs12,000 to Rs120,000, while the licence fees for restaurants has been increased from Rs25,000 to Rs200,000. The fees for department stores, hair salons, wedding halls, medical laboratories and so on have also been increased. The house also increased the fees for outdoor advertising.

MCI members earlier criticised the performance of the sanitation directorate, saying that it had failed to deliver because of malpractice and today the capital was littered with garbage.

Published in Dawn, January 17th, 2020