- KMC hardly collects Rs220mn annually from Fire Tax and Conservancy Tax, says Murtaza Wahab.
- Moved aimed at improving local bodies’ performance, says CM Sindh.
- KE says it has no objection to collecting tax via electricity bills.
The Sindh government has decided to collect two Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) taxes through electricity bills sent to residents to ensure their recovery, as per a report in The News.
Chief Minister Sindh Murad Ali Shah chaired a joint meeting of the KMC and K-Electric Wednesday. The provincial government decided to come up with a mechanism through which two of the KMC’s bills can be recovered through electricity bills sent to residents.
The meeting was attended by Energy Minister Imtiaz Shaikh, KMC Administrator Murtaza Wahab, Principal Secretary to CM Sajid Jamal Abro, Sindh Energy Secretary Abu Bakar, CEO KE Moonis Abdullah Alvi, Director KE Haris Jamil and other relevant officials
Karachi Administrator Murtaza Wahab briefed the chief minister about the situation, saying that Karachi residents have to pay 13 taxes to the KMC in total.
“Out of the 13 taxes, the KE may collect only two taxes, the Fire Tax and the Conservancy Tax through its bills,” he said. Wahab informed the chief minister that the KMC hardly collected Rs220mn from Karachiites annually on account of both taxes.
Shah said that the provincial government is trying to ensure that the local bodies become empowered and financially viable institutions to serve the city’s residents better.
“The KMC used to be a well-off organisation but it has crippled financially for the past one decade,” he lamented.
He said that Rs100 and Rs200 will be charged respectively from two categories of consumers in the electricity bill.
“If formally signed, the agreement will help the KMC collect Rs9 billion annually,” the chief minister added.
KE Chief Executive Moonis Alvi said his organisation does not have any reservations on collecting the taxes via electricity bills. However, he said the federal government’s permission may be needed to collect the taxes.
Shah said the Sindh government would get KE the permission to collect the taxes. “This is the government’s job and aimed at improving the performance of the KMC. I am sure they [federal government] would support us,” he said.
The chief minister directed Sindh Energy Minister Imtiaz Shaikh to initiate the process to obtain the federal government’s permission to collect taxes.