Karachi Mayor Wasim Akhtar unveiled a tax-free budget for financial year 2019-20 of Rs26.44 billion for the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation before a packed City Council meeting in the Victoria-era KMC building on Thursday.
KMC is to spend Rs9 billion of the budget on different development projects in the metropolis. This is 35% of the total allocated budget.
Elaborating on the budget figures, the mayor told the House that the budget shows total receipts as Rs26,449.825, including current receipts of Rs20,374.09 million and capital receipts of Rs1,734.42 million.
Funds for the provincial annual development program (ADP) & District ADP will be Rs4,341.312 million.
He said Rs14,462.326 million has been allocated for salaries and pensions, Rs2280.905 million for contingent expenses and Rs222.040 million for repair and maintenance.
The KMC has earmarked Rs5,132.305 million for development projects and works and Rs4,341.312 million for completion of the provincial and district ADP.
Grants from the Sindh government are estimated as Rs12.938.437 million and provincial ADP and district ADP as Rs4,341.312 million.
Revenue from land and other departments is estimated at Rs1,591.326 million and Rs1,152.560 million from municipality utility charges and taxes. Meanwhile, the dues of KMC against K-Electric are Rs4,409 million and Rs600 million against Karachi Port Trust.
The summary of expenditure in the KMC budget was also given. It includes Rs4,341million for the provincial ADP and district ADP share, Rs4,651 million for medical and health services, Rs4,250 million for pension funds, Rs3,325 million for municipal services, Rs3,364 million for engineering, Rs1,946 million for debt servicing, Rs1,001 million for revenue departments, Rs971 million for the parks and horticulture department, Rs832 million for secretariat, Rs762 million for culture, sports and recreation, Rs382 million for transport and communication, Rs342 million for municipal utility charges, Rs161 million for the law department, Rs69million for the E&IP department and Rs54.14 million the information department.
During the budget session, the mayor said that the KMC would complete 494 development schemes in fiscal year 2019-20, which includes 10 projects at a cost of Rs42.65 million for the municipal services department, seven projects at a cost of Rs35 million for the transport and communication department, 62 schemes costing Rs270 million for the medical and health department, 103 projects costing Rs403 million for the culture, sports and recreational department, eight schemes costing Rs45 million in the information technology department and Rs833 million is for block allocation (new schemes).
The Sindh government has curtailed the ADP funds by Rs1.67 billion as compared to the previous year with an increase in salaries by 15% which puts an extra financial burden of Rs760 million on the KMC.
The total budget outlay of Rs26.44 billion is less than the 2018-19 budget of Rs27.16 billion.