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Sindh govt invites stakeholders in Karachi to evolve joint waste disposal strategy


July 4, 2019

The Sindh government has convened a meeting of all stakeholders, including political parties, on Friday (tomorrow) to brief them about efforts being made and the systems put in place by different agencies to tackle the menacing problem of municipal waste in Karachi.

Speaking at a press conference here on Wednesday, Local Government Minister Saeed Ghani said that apart from the political parties, religious organisations and representatives of traders and industrialists in the city would also be invited to the consultative meeting.

He said that the consultative session had been convened on Friday to hold discussion on the issue of municipal waste and come up with a joint strategy to resolve the problem. The convening of the meeting to hold consultation had proved that the Sindh government was fully serious to resolve the issue of unattended municipal waste in the city, he added.

Ghani informed the journalists that four out of the six districts of Karachi had handed over the function of municipal waste disposal in the city to the Sindh Solid Waste Management Board (SSWMB) after the councils of these districts had duly passed resolutions to this effect.

He said only the districts of Korangi and Central had been disposing of municipal waste in their areas on their own. He added that the government would have no objection at all if any of the remaining districts intended to assume again the responsibilities of municipal waste disposal after deeming the performance of the SSWMB or the contracting Chinese firms (doing the same work on behalf of the SSWMB) unsatisfactory.

He said the government and SSWMB would continue to support the districts if they decided to assume again the responsibilities related to municipal waste disposal. The local government minister nullified the impression that local government agencies in the city had not been passed on the powers envisaged for them in the Sindh Local Government Act 2013.

Ghani said all the due powers had been devolved to the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation and the District Municipal Corporation as envisaged in the provincial local government law. He said that very soon the authority to collect the property tax in the city would be devolved to the relevant local government agencies.

He said more powers for revenue collection in the city could be devolved to the KMC and the DMCs, but for this cause, they should prove their eligibility by enhancing income through their existing revenue streams.

The minister said that the collection of General Sales Tax on Services earlier stood at Rs15 billion when its authority rested with the federal government, but later the GST collection increased to over Rs 100 billion after the Sindh government assumed this responsibility.

He said the Sindh government had convened the consultative session on Friday with the aim to provide maximum relief to the people of Karachi. He said that all the political parties in the city, including the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan and the Jamaat-e-Islami, had been invited to the session.

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