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August 22, 2019

Ghani criticises mayor for asking citizens not to pay taxes

Karachi

August 22, 2019

The call of the Karachi mayor to the people of the city for not paying taxes to the Sindh government and continue paying them to the federal government is absurd as the provincial administration is going to spend Rs125 billon on the development of Karachi in the current financial year while the Centre has allocated only Rs12 billion for the city.

Sindh Information and Labour Minister Saeed Ghani said this on Wednesday after attending an event of the National Institute of Labour Administration. He said the Sindh government led by the Pakistan Peoples Party fully owned Karachi as it had initiated maximum development works in the city, considering its importance as the major contributor of revenue to the national exchequer. “The Peoples Party could neither disown this city nor would it back out from its commitment to resolve problems of the city.”

He added that the mayor’s political party, the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P), never demanded of the federal government to release money under its Rs162 billion development package for the city. He also pointed out that the MQM-P had failed to persuade the federal government to pay its due share for the K-IV bulk water supply project.

Ghani also mentioned the S-III sewerage project and the requirement of an additional water supply to Karachi that had been neglected by the MQM-P, which was a coalition partner in the federal government. “Our focus is on Karachi but quite unfortunately, Federal Minister Ali Zaidi and the Karachi mayor both have been doing political point-scoring,” he said.

The information minister lamented that the mayor did not talk to Zaidi to ask him not to openly dump waste being collected from storm water drains of the city during their de-silting under the federal government-backed Clean Karachi campaign. He maintained that the dumping of waste in the open under the ongoing federal government-backed cleanliness drive had in fact further worsened the situation of cleanliness in different districts of the city.

Ghani again asked Zaidi stop the cleanliness drive in Karachi in case the waste being collected under the campaign could not be properly disposed of at the landfill sites. He said the mayor should express gratitude to the Sindh Solid Waste Management Board (SSWMB) for the collection of waste from District Central equal to the load of 183 dumper trucks for its proper disposal at the landfill sites of the city.

He claimed that the situation of sanitation in District East, District Malir and District South was much better compared to the rest of the areas as the SSWMB had been performing its duties to collect and dispose of the municipal waste in the aforesaid districts.

Ghani alleged that the media mostly showed the unattended garbage in District Central, District Korangi, cantonment areas, or the localities that fell under the jurisdictions of federal agencies.

He said during his tenure as the local government minister of the province, he had made it binding upon the SSWMB to help out the districts of Korangi and Central in transporting the waste collected by them to the landfill sites although the provincial waste management board had not been tasked with the waste collection responsibility of these two districts.

He recalled that primarily it was the job of the district municipal corporations (DMCs) in the city to collect and dispose of the municipal waste from their areas but four of the DMCs had authorised the SSWMB to carry out the task.

He said the firm that had signed a contract with the SSWMB to collect and dispose of waste in District West could not properly discharge its responsibilities and resultantly its contract had been cancelled.

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