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Tuesday December 06, 2022

Murtaza Wahab steps down as Karachi Administrator

Wahab announces resignation after SHC restricts KMC from collecting taxes through KE

By Web Desk
September 26, 2022
Karachi Administrator Murtaza Wahab gestures while addressing a press conference in Karachi, on September 26, 2022. — YouTube/Geo News screengrab
Karachi Administrator Murtaza Wahab gestures while addressing a press conference in Karachi, on September 26, 2022. — YouTube/Geo News screengrab

KARACHI: Disappointed by the Sindh High Court’s (SHC) verdict temporarily barring the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) from collecting the Municipal Utility Charges and Taxes (MUCT) through K-Electric bills, Karachi Administrator Murtaza Wahab Monday announced his resignation from office.

Earlier in the day, the SHC, taking up the Jamaat-e-Islami’s petition, directed the Karachi administrator and said: "Make the recoveries in any way you want but not through KE bills."

The court also restrained the K-Electric from cutting off the electricity connection of the consumers who do not pay the MUCT. Following the ruling, Wahab decided to step down.

Addressing a press conference, Wahab recalled his development work and said that he worked day and night for the city. "We built all the major streets.”

“It would have been easier for me to ask the prime minister and the chief minister for funds, but I did not, as I believe the way of the law is the only solution,” he said.

“The Constitution and the law of the land have a solution for everything.”

He said as per the relevant law the metropolitan corporation was authrorised to impose taxes.

“When the city roads are submerged, nobody knocks on Waeem Akhtar or Naeem-ur-Rehman’s door, the citizens question me, the government, and the KMC for answers,” Wahab added.

He said as per the relevant law the metropolitan corporation was authrorised to impose taxes.

“When the city roads are submerged, nobody knocks on Waeem Akhtar or Naeem-ur-Rehman’s door. People question me, the government, and the KMC,” Wahab added.

He claimed papers showed the recovery rate during Waseem Akhtar’s time was only 20 percent. “Where was the money going then?”

Hinting at the rampant corruption during the time of the former mayor of the coastal city, Wahab said Waseem Akhtar had hired a private contractor to collect the taxes. “Once they collected Rs200 million and were given Rs40 million,” he alleged.

The administrator also claimed his hands were clean and asserted he fought the dirt in the system at the cost of his rightful comfort.

“I was out in the field during the disasters supervising the repairs, rescue, and relief work personally. I was working while wearing a mask during the COVID-19 outbreak. I always tried to serve people indiscriminately without any bias.”

Wahab said his mistake was that instead of his pocket, he loved the KMC.

“There are forces at work here that don’t let us do our job efficiently. It’s not easy to work in this city as everything is resisted here.”

The outgoing administrator of the country’s financial hub said he had diabetes and the work-related stress was worsening it, which was taking a toll on his health.

He said he would send his resignation to the chief minister Sindh after this press conference.