KARACHI: Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah has decided to evolve a mechanism for collecting two of the taxes of Karachi Metropolitan Corporation through electricity bills so as to ensure their maximum recovery.

He said at a joint meeting of KMC and K-Electric officials at CM House on Wednesday that he was working to make Karachi’s local bodies financially stable so that they could serve citizens from their own resources.

KMC Administrator Barrister Murtaza Wahab informed the chief minister that the KMC collected 13 taxes from people living in its limits. “Out of the 13 taxes, the KE may collect Fire Tax and Conservancy Tax through its bills,” he said and disclosed that the KMC hardly collected Rs220 million annually through both the taxes.

The chief minister said that he was working to strengthen the local bodies of Karachi financially so that they could serve the citizens from their own resources. “The KMC used to be a well-off organisation but it has [been] crippled financially for the past one decade,” he said.

KE chief Moonis Alvi said that the power utility had no objection to collecting the taxes on behalf of the KMC but he would have to seek permission from the federal government.

Murad orders police top brass to purge black sheep within their ranks

The chief minister said that he would get him [KE] necessary permission from the federal government and directed the energy minister to get the paperwork done for the purpose.

Law and order

At another meeting on law and order, the chief minister appreciated performance of police in busting major gangs of drug dealers and smugglers and directed the department to purge itself of black sheep.

“I have reports that some of the policemen are working as facilitators for the drug dealers and their presence in the police department is bringing bad name to the reputation of police service. They, therefore, must be combed out and brought to book,” he added.

The chief minister assigned special tasks to police to conduct operations against drug dealers and curb crimes against women, children and minorities.

IGP Mushtaq Mahar presented last 10 days (Aug 21 to 31) report to the chief minister and said overall five cases were registered against crimes against minorities, 22 cases of offenses against women, nine cases of crimes against children, 198 cases against trade in contraband and 798 cases against drug mafia.

The chief minister appreciated police for its performance against drug mafia and said it would also reduce street crime as most of the street criminals were members of drug mafia.

He said that that he had received intelligence reports that some of the policemen were working for drug mafia and some others had become their facilitators.

Shah directed the IGP to ask his DIGs to hold meetings with SHOs and task them with curbing crime against minorities, women, children and drug mafia and maintain overall law and order in their respective areas.

KMC, KDA disputes over parking lots settled

The chief minister resolved disputes between KMC and Karachi Development Authority (KDA) over ownership of parking lots at a meeting he chaired o Wednesday and directed them to withdraw their cases from the courts.

KMC administrator informed the meeting that a dispute between KMC and KDA was going on in court over the ownership of a parking lot at Bara-Dari which was rented out to a local hotel for Rs3.5 million a year.

The LG minister said that the plot belonged to the KMC as defunct city district government had constructed the underground parking lot. In those days, the KDA was part of the city government. “The matter has been in court for past many years and the rent is being deposited in court,” he said.

The chief minister decided that the land on which the parking lot had been developed belonged to the KMC, therefore, it should take over the area. Another dispute between KMC and KDA was over the ownership of Parking Plaza in Saddar, said the administrator.

The LG minister said that the land on which the Parking Plaza had been constructed belonged to KDA and expenditure incurred on the construction was taken from the city government funds. On this the chief minister decided that since the landowner was the KDA, therefore, the parking plaza should be handed over to the KDA.

The chief minister on the request of the local government minister vowed to give a grant to the KDA to bail it out of present financial crisis. He had given Rs500m grant to KDA last year, said the CM.

Shah directed KDA to remove encroachments from its lands and develop projects in the interest of public and its own finances.

Published in Dawn, September 9th, 2021

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