THIS is with reference to the report ‘KMC gets three months to review plan to collect utility charges through power bills’ (May 31). The Sindh High Court (SHC) appears to be in the process of giving approval regarding the collection of controversial municipal utility charges and taxes through the electricity bills, as it has directed the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) to complete the exercise of reviewing the agreement with K-Electric (KE).

It was some 20 years ago when the then mayor of Karachi in association with the then executive district officer (EDO) of the city government had come up with the idea of imposing municipal charges against various utility services that have hardly ever been provided. This was unfair as the people of Karachi were even then paying pay water and sewerage charges to the Karachi Water and Sewerage Corporation (KWSC). Those living in Clifton and Defence Housing Authority (DHA) areas paid their water and sewerage charges to the relevant agencies. Besides, everyone was paying the motor vehicle tax that covered road maintenance.

There was no justification in imposing dual taxation in the form of municipal charges. These charges were, and are, nothing but a way to hoodwink the people. Simply put, it is official extortion. It is unfortunate that KE is willing to allow itself to be involved in daylight robbery. It should revisit its decision.

On its part, the SHC should reject the KMC plan of subjecting the people of Karachi to double taxation for no reason.

Name withheld on request
Karachi

Published in Dawn, June 12th, 2024

Opinion

Editorial

Injustice undone
Updated 13 Jul, 2024

Injustice undone

The SC verdict is a stunning reversal of fortunes for a party that was, both before and after general elections, being treated as a defunct entity.
Looming flour shortage
13 Jul, 2024

Looming flour shortage

FOR once, it is hard to argue against the reason that compelled flour mills to call a nationwide strike from...
Same old script
13 Jul, 2024

Same old script

WHEN it comes to the troubling issue of enforced disappearances/ missing persons — either Baloch or belonging to...
Misery and despair
Updated 12 Jul, 2024

Misery and despair

Is a life lived happily and respectably too much to ask for from your country?
Temporary extension
12 Jul, 2024

Temporary extension

THE cabinet’s decision to allow ‘legal’ Afghan refugees — meaning those with Proof of Registration cards —...
Anti-smog strategy
12 Jul, 2024

Anti-smog strategy

BY acknowledging that smog is a year-round problem, and not just a winter issue, the Punjab government has taken the...