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Mayor demands funds to pay pension, increased salaries

Karachi

May 18, 2020

Yet again the city mayor lashed out at the Sindh government for not giving him money for a 15 per cent increment in the salaries of the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) staff as announced in the Budget 2019-20 and for clearing out the dues of 5,591 retired KMC employees who have been demanding their right since 2015.

Karachi Mayor Wasim Akhtar said there was a shortfall of Rs165 million in the head of the KMC employees’ salaries and pensions every month. He was addressing a meeting of the KMC’s Finance Department. Senior director coordination Masood Alam, financial adviser Riaz Khatri, director welfare Mehmood Baig, law adviser Azra Muqeem and other officials were present on the occasion.

Akhtar said even the doctors and paramedics who were combating the COVID-19 threat from the front line at hospitals under the administrative control of the KMC were deprived of the increment.

"I have approached Prime Minister Imran Khan and Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah many times but to no avail," he added. The mayor said that the retired employees, including the sick, the ill and the women, would daily visit the KMC office with a hope to get their dues cleared but they would go back without getting anything as “there is a shortage of funds with the KMC”.

"They served Karachi and Pakistan for so many years and now struggling for their dues. It should not have happened with them,” he said. According to a press statement from the KMC, Akhtar pointed out how there was a shortfall in salaries which was covered with revenue every month. “But due to the lockdown,” he said, “revenues have also reduced.”

The KMC employees, especially the health workers, rescue workers and firefighters, were performing their duties with courage even during the pandemic, he added. He was of the view that the issue of the employees’ salaries was put up before the chief minister during a meeting in which he had assured him to sign the summary at the earliest.

"We have to pay Rs3.35 billion to the retired employees who have been waiting for their dues since 2015,” he said. He directed the finance department to take measures for increasing the revenue of the department, adding that the municipal services bill should also be collected from the citizens.

The meeting discussed the next year's budget and the participants were told that the last year's development schemes could not be completed on time due to the shortage of funds. “The amount should be allocated for completion of last year's schemes,” the meeting was told.

The participants were informed that UC chairmen and head of KMC different departments had suggested schemes of roads and sewerage for their areas. New schemes for the KMC's parks department, general administration, municipal utility and other departments would be incorporated in the Budget 2019-20, the meeting was told.