KARACHI: Despite the passage of two months to the start of current financial year 2023-24, current and former employees of the Karachi Development Authority (KDA) have not been paid the promised increase in their salaries and pensions as announced in June by the then Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) government in the province’s annual budget, it emerged on Monday.

The Sindh government had announced 35 per cent increase in salaries of provincial employees of Grade 1-16; 30pc pay raise in salaries of officers in Grade 17 and above. The government also increased the pensions of retired employees by 17.5pc.

“The KDA is the only organisation under the local government department where employees are not getting their salaries under the new structure. The high-ups never paid any heed to this problem and no one knows when it’s really going to happen,” said a KDA officer.

He said that a total of 2,100 KDA employees were in Grade 1-15, while the number of retired employees stood at 2,190.

Sindh govt had announced up to 35pc pay raise for provincial employees, 17.5pc for pensioner in budget

Another official said that labour unions had taken up the issues of non-payment of salaries and pensions under the revised structure with the KDA administration and senior government officials, but the talks always ended up with promises.

Founded in 1957, the KDA was once a powerful entity responsible for the land development across the city. In 2001, it was wrapped up and its 19 departments were merged with the then city district government Karachi during the rule of former president Pervez Musharraf.

After introducing the KDA (Revival & Amendment) Bill of 2016, the PPP government had amended the KDA Ordinance and placed it under the department of local government and brought it out of control of the Karachi mayor.

With no revenue generation in place, the KDA now solely relies on the provincial government for releasing grants. However, the officials say the grant would not meet the requirements of payment of salaries under the revised structure.

“The recent increase in salaries by the Sindh government will cost additional Rs60 million to Rs65m,” said KDA’s Finance Member Mohammad Kashif Khan.

“We have already approached the Sindh government, requesting it for the increase in the grant. We are hopeful that the government will approve [our request] any day. That’s the only reason which has delayed the implementation of increase in salaries. But once it’s done, the employees will be paid all dues effective from July 1, 2023,” he said.

Published in Dawn, September 19th, 2023

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