The Karachi Metropolitan Corporation passed its Rs26.44billion budget on Friday.
For the first time in the history of the KMC, the budget session was held in the lawn of the old KMC Building after the K-Electric disconnected power supply to its building over non-payment of bills.
The members of ruling and opposition parties were sitting on the chairs under the open sky during the budget session.
Karachi Mayor Waseem Akhtar got the budget approved in the house with a majority vote.
Jamaat-e-Islami was the only party that opposed the budget. It has 10 members in the house.
The Karachi mayor said that the dues of KE’s on KMC are not new, adding that these dues were accumulated since 2010.
“We owed Rs580 million for 71 connections and it was decided in the Supreme Court that the Sindh government would release funds to the KMC,” Akhtar maintained.
“Although, the K-Electric has an outstanding amount of Rs8billion payable to KMC in share of its electricity poles and KE’s sub-stations installed at different roads and parks of KMC,” the mayor added.
Akhtar said that he has admitted in court that the KMC is not in a position to pay K-Electric due to financial constraints.
The KMC mayor said that the apex court has directed the Sindh government to pay K-Electric on behalf of KMC.
“The Supreme Court has ordered the Sindh government to release an amount of Rs50m per month to KMC to pay its electricity dues, but the provincial government fails to comply with the orders of the apex court,” Akhtar claimed.
He asked the KE authorities to restore the power supply to the old KMC building, warning that the elected representatives would stage a protest in front its headquarters.
During the budget session, the opposition members of the city council, including Karamullah Waqasi of PPP, Junaid Makati of Jamaat-e-Islami and others, criticised the performance of the KMC mayor.
During their budget speeches, they said that the KMC mayor is adopting a policy of “nepotism” and favoring his party members in council.
One of the elected representatives from Lyari said that the Karachi Mayor is not with the people of Lyari because he didn’t include a single development scheme in the budget for Lyari.
“Mayor sahab, you are ignoring Lyari and the federal and provincial governments are ignoring you,” he said.