Murad claims federal finance minister’s support in KMC bills’ collection via KE

Published September 12, 2021
Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah addresses a press conference at CM House in Karachi. — APP/File
Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah addresses a press conference at CM House in Karachi. — APP/File

KARACHI: Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah on Saturday said that the federal government was “supportive and helping” to allow the K-Electric to collect two Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) taxes — fire and conservancy — through KE electricity bills. This he said while talking to journalists at Mazar-i-Quaid, which he visited to pay tribute to Father of Nation Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah on the occasion of his death anniversary.

However, on the other hand, Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Asad Umar opposed the Sindh government’s plan to collect the taxes on behalf of the KMC through electricity bills, categorically saying that the federal government would not allow it.

“I have spoken to Energy Minister Hammad Azhar regarding this matter and we will not permit the collection of taxes through power bills,” said the minister, while speaking to journalists in Karachi on Saturday, according to Dawn.com.

On Wednesday, Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah had unveiled the provincial government’s plan to collect the fire tax and conservancy tax on behalf of the KMC from citizens of Karachi through KE bills.

“Some people who do not want to see the KMC reviving its financial strength are opposing it [the collection of KMC taxes through electricity bills] forgetting that the TV fee is already being collected through electricity bills,” Murad Ali Shah said while talking to journalists at the Mazar-i-Quaid.

Responding to a question, he said the KMC set a collection target of fire tax and conservancy at Rs1 billion every year, but it could hardly collect Rs250 million. “Therefore, it has worked out a plan to collect both the taxes by reducing their rate through electricity bills,” he said, adding that the KMC was not introducing any new tax but these were old taxes being collected.

The CM said the KMC under the improved tax collection plan had decided to collect it along with electricity bills so that collection targets could be achieved in the interest of the city and its people.

“I am surprised that some people have come out to oppose it for nothing and forgetting that TV fees are already being collected through the power bills, then why not the KMC taxes?” he said.

Mr Shah disclosed that he had talked to Federal Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin and the chairman of Nepra to allow the KMC to collect its taxes through electricity bills and they were very positive and assured their support and full cooperation.

Published in Dawn, September 12th, 2021

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