KARACHI: The City Council of the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation on Monday passed a tax-free budget of over Rs24.84 billion for fiscal year 2020-21 amid strong protest by the opposition.
Karachi Mayor Wasim Akhtar presented the fourth budget of his tenure before the council, where Deputy Mayor Arshad Hussain and Metropolitan Commissioner Dr Syed Saif ur Rehman were also present.
The municipal administration’s total estimated budget is Rs24.845bn and the current receipts in the budget are Rs20.67bn whereas the capital receipts are Rs1.66bn.
Over Rs2.5bn was allocated for district Annual Development Programme (ADP) and establishment expenditures are Rs15.57bn.
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A sum of Rs200.96 million was earmarked for repair and maintenance while estimations for development works are Rs4.38bn.
No new tax was imposed for FY 2020-21.
The mayor said that the city’s municipal administration had taken all-out measures to ensure provision of facilities at the grassroots level.
“Covid-19 has affected the entire world badly and after that planning for future is not an easy task,” he said, adding that the resources which were nominal even before the lockdown had almost finished.
He said that the KMC’s biggest source of income was the grant from the provincial government.
Rs680m for roads’ repair, maintenance
The mayor said that Rs680m was earmarked for repair and maintenance of roundabouts, roads, footpaths and sewerage lines of all six districts; Special Development Project and Nehr-i-Khayyam got Rs120m each; Rs120m has also been fixed for different works at UCs.
He added that Rs100m was earmarked for purchasing ventilators; Rs100m for purchasing of different equipment for hospitals under the administrative control of KMC.
Mr Akhtar said that Rs100m was earmarked for the Kidney Hill Park; Rs300m for uplift work at the Shahabuddin Market Parking Plaza; Rs100m for the uplift and lighting of big arteries; and Rs100m is fixed for uplift works at different parks.
He said that Rs100m was fixed for cleanliness of drains while Rs75m was earmarked for maintenance of flyovers, underpasses and bridges.
The mayor said that Rs75m each was earmarked for establishment of a fire station, uplift of landfill sites and Zulfikarabad Oil Tankers Parking Terminal’s phase II.
Likewise, the KMC allocated Rs52m for development works at the zoos and Safari Park as well Rs50m for purchasing of different animals and birds.
Giving details of amount allocated for different departments, the mayor said that Rs5.097bn was earmarked for medical and health services; Rs5.855bn for pension fund and other dues of employees; Rs3.499bn for municipal services; Rs2.805bn for engineering department; Rs1.150bn for revenue department; Rs1.134bn for parks and horticulture; Rs867m for culture, sports and recreation; Rs380.46m for transport and communication; Rs368.92m for finance and accounts (MCUT); Rs168.42m for law department; Rs80.49m for investment and promotion; Rs66.198m for information technology; Rs861.032m for secretariat.
Speaking on expected revenue from different departments for FY 2020-21, the mayor said that a grant of Rs13.188bn was expected from the Sindh government, K-Electric owes Rs4,409.04m of the KMC and Rs2.5bn was expected in the head of district ADP.
He added revenue of Rs1.523bn was expected from other revenue sources including land enforcement, Katchi Abadis and charged parking; Rs1.232bn from finance accounts (MUCT); Rs661.5m from transport and communication; Rs550m from KPT which owes KMC money; Rs100m from the Sindh Building Control Authority (SBCA) in the head of income transfers; Rs81.5m from engineering department; Rs72.5m from medical and health services; Rs37.9m from parks and horticulture; Rs15.6m from enterprises and investment promotions; and Rs1.185m from secretariat.
City’s uplift schemes affected badly
Giving details of the last four years, he said Rs5bn was allocated for KMC in 2016-17 but it was given only Rs4.1bn; similarly Rs5bn was earmarked for KMC in 2017-18 but it was given only Rs4.1bn.
The mayor added that in 2018-19, the KMC was given only Rs2.5bn out of allocated Rs5bn and in 2019-20 it received only Rs625m out of allocated Rs3.3bn.
He said that 400 schemes in Karachi were affected badly whereas the work could not be started on 300 schemes in the city due to major cut in the funds.
Mayor Akhtar said that the KMC still had to pay Rs8.5bn to contractors.
He said they had incorporated schemes suggested by the opposition last year but the same could not be completed on time due to shortage of required funds.
At the outset of the council’s session, resolutions were adopted for expressing condolence over deaths of former city nazim Niamatullah Khan, former Jamaat-i-Islami chief Syed Munawwar Hassan, Mufti Naeem, Allama Talib Jauhari, Tariq Aziz, Sabiha Khanam, UC chairmen Irtaza Khan, Shahid Khan, Shahnawaz Ahmed and late provincial minister Ghulam Murtaza Baloch.
The council also condemned the attack on the Pakistan Stock Exchange and appreciated the personnel of law enforcement agencies for their rapid response.
Published in Dawn, June 30th, 2020