KARACHI: City Adm­inis­trator and CM’s Advi­ser on Law barrister Murtaza Wahab said on Wednesday that the provincial government was ready to hold local body elections in February or March, though it wanted them after the delimitation of constituencies through proper census.

Talking to a group of journalists at his office, he said that the provincial government had serious reservations on the census, but it was ready to hold the local government polls if the Election Commission wanted so. “I have given provincial government’s consent in the Election Commission to hold the local body elections in Sindh in February or March,” he added.

Barrister Wahab, who is also provincial government spokesman, said that he had come to the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation as administrator for a short period and would try to create a system so that the next mayor did not have any problems.

‘If KMC is not financially stable, it cannot provide services to citizens’

Yearly Rs7.2bn municipal tax

He said that collection of Municipal Utility Charges Tax (MUCT) of Rs200 per month from three million consumers of K-Electric would generate Rs600 million per month and Rs7.2 billion per year for the city’s municipal administration.

Barrister Wahab said that the inclusion of municipal utility bill in K-Electric bills would help KMC stand on its own feet.

“The federal finance minister, Sindh Energy Minister Imtiaz Sheikh and relevant agencies have also supported it.”The administrator said that if the KMC was not financially stable, it could not provide services to citizens.

“I have set a target for heads of revenue collection departments to improve their performance by Sept 30, otherwise action will be taken,” he warned.

Barrister Wahab said that four important projects costing Rs300m had been tendered in Karachi and work on them would start in the next few days.

Referring to a former mayor’s contention about powers, he said that the real issue to be decided was whether the mayor did not have powers or he never exercise them.

He said that he was making all-out efforts to activate Zulfikarabad Oil Tankers Terminal.

The administrator said that data of 8,000 shops located in markets of KMC had been fully computerised and all these details would be released on its website next week.

He said that the appointment of administrators in the district municipal corporations had been made in consultation with him and all aspects in this regard had been reviewed.

Published in Dawn, September 16th, 2021

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