KARACHI: Mayor Wasim Akhtar on Monday directed the finance department of the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation to increase salaries of the employees by 15 per cent and pay them salary of May in advance ahead of Eidul Fitr.

Presiding over a meeting here, he directed that salaries of all KMC employees including doctors, nurses, paramedical staff, firefighters and municipal workers should be released before Eidul Fitr.

It was decided that all heads of department would submit May salaries’ bill by Tuesday so that advance salaries could be released along with 15pc increment announced by the Sindh government in budget 2019-20.

It may be noted that KMC employees had been protesting as they were denied increment in salaries.

According to a KMC spokesperson, the employees expressed gratitude to the mayor and said now they would observe Eid along with their families in a better manner.

The mayor had raised this issue with Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah during a meeting and asked him to resolve the issue.

The CM had directed the local government minister to forward a summary which he told to approve forthwith.

Mr Akhtar had also written many letters to the chief minister apprising him of the issue and asking him to increase grant for KMC so that the employees’ salaries could be increased by 15pc as announced by the provincial government in budget 2019-20.

Besides, the mayor had also approached the federal government and asked it to pay due amount for clearing dues of retired employees.

Subsequently, the provincial government issued Rs100 million grant for KMC and soon after receiving the grant, the mayor ordered increase in salaries.

Meanwhile, the mayor said the Supreme Court had to intervene and order opening of markets due to “wrong policies” of the Sindh government.

“The people came out in large numbers [at the] same time as the markets’ timing was too short but still it was the government’s responsibility to ensure implementation of standard operating procedures (SOPs),” he said.

The mayor said that KMC was not provided any sort of assistance either by the federal or provincial government to cope with coronavirus. “Politics should not be played on issues pertaining to masses’ service,” he added.

Published in Dawn, May 19th, 2020

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