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Umar slams plan to put KMC charges on KE bills

Federal minister also baulks at PPP posters at vaccination centers

SAMAA | - Posted: Sep 11, 2021 | Last Updated: 3 months ago
Posted: Sep 11, 2021 | Last Updated: 3 months ago

Rejecting the possibility of collecting KMC charges in K-Electric bills, Federal Minister for Planning Asad Umar said that the Karachi Municipal Corporation (KMC) should devise its own strategy to increase revenue generation capacity.

Umar has also raised objections at posters showing key PPP figures at coronavirus vaccination centres and said that not even a single dose of vaccine had been brought by the Sindh government.

He reminded that the federal government had disposed of at least 1.1 million tons of solid waste from nullahs (rain-water) outlets in Karachi.

KMC Administrator Murtaza Wahab reiterated that KMC just wanted to find fiscal independence.

Casting doubts over the benevolence of the federal government, Wahab said that the federal government was merely shouldering its responsibilities and coronavirus vaccines had been gifted and the federal government not bought any of them.

Wahab said that the situation was the same wherever the federal government had picked up waste.

The entire debate turned political when Haleem Adil Sheikh interjected his views. Sheikh said that the government in Sindh should be removed, adding that if his views were solicited, he would recommend looking into the matter of Motorway too. He said that Karachi’s progress was at stake.

Interestingly, a meeting headed by the Sindh chief minister had decided on Wednesday to add KMC charges in K-Electric bills as a means to boost the municipal corporation’s revenue.

The Sindh government had hoped to add Municipal Utility Charges and Taxes (MUCT) just as consumers pay TV license fees.

Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah had also hoped that after the enhancement of KMC’s revenue, it would be in a better position to undertake development work in the city.

On Wednesday, Karachi Administrator Murtaza Wahab had endorsed this decision and said that this plan was revolutionary and he would ensure transparency in revenue generation and expenditures.

K-Electric had played it safe, insisting that no new taxes or charges could be added to its bills with the regulator’s permission.

Tentatively, KMC’s revenue could have gone up by at least Rs9 billion on the back of the plan’s implementation.

What is MUCT bill?

Municipal Utility Charges and Taxes (MUCT) bill was first introduced in 2008. The then CDGK Mayor Syed Mustafa Kamal introduced this bill after the city council approved it through a resolution.

The MUCT bill was basically meant to be an amount paid on a quarterly basis for repairing and carrying out maintenance of infrastructure, including roads, flyover bridges, underpasses and footpaths.

The Sindh government has already made it mandatory for clearing MUCT bills on property owners. After relevant changes were made in property laws, no property could now be sold or bought without clearing MUCT charges.

Later, the imposition of the MUCT bill was challenged in the Sindh High Court by former CDGK Mayor Naimatullah Khan of  the Jamaat-i-Islami.

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