The Sindh government has just released Rs2.8 billion for July’s payments down the pipeline to the province’s municipalities and towns.
The money, which is regularly disbursed every month, comes from the Octroi and Zila tax share. The Sindh government supplements this money with additional special “grants in aid” to help local government bodies pay salaries and pensions for staff. (Read about this development here: Sindh govt releases Rs220m for municipalities in July)
The biggest chunk of the Rs2.8 billion from OZT has been released to Karachi’s District Municipal Corporation West that gets Rs247 million. The other DMCs receive less: Malir Rs111m, Central Rs223m, South Rs76m, East Rs82m and Korangi Rs159m.
Karachi’s District Council for the rural part of the city gets Rs83m.
The other big cities in Sindh are also on the list: Hyderabad Municipal Corporation will get Rs93m, Sukkur Municipal Corporation gets Rs98m and Larkano Municipal Corporation Rs36m.
The government of Sindh will also be giving KMC money for the month of July. In June it gave Rs161 million from the OZT and a special grant in aid of Rs430 million for salaries. It is expected that the order for Karachi’s money will be issued separately.
The local bodies governments across Sindh rely heavily on the largess of the Sindh government, which in turn relies on Islamabad for money. Economists explain that this is because our system is heavily “centralized”.
These days the mayor of Karachi has been arguing for a better financial system. KMC receives money for salaries but it is half of what it needs, which is about one billion rupees a month.
KMC has 22,000 pensioners who it has to pay about Rs300 million a month. It has 16,000 posts out of which 13,000 are filled and the rest are vacant. Those staffers need to be paid their salaries.
One of its worries is that with the 15% increase in salaries announced in the budget, it simply won’t have enough money to pay people.