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September 11, 2020

PSP releases white paper on ‘corruption’ of former mayor, four MQM-P’s DMC chairmen

Karachi

September 11, 2020

Releasing the first part of a white paper to expose what the Pak Sarzameen Party (PSP) said the rampant corruption of former Karachi mayor Wasim Akhtar, PSP leaders on Thursday said the mayor and the four DMC chairmen of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) during their four-year tenure continued crying about lack of authority and resources but received a total budget of more than Rs125 billion for the city.

Addressing a press conference at the Pakistan House, the party’s secretary, PSP Vice-Chairman Arshad Abdullah, released the white paper’s first part and said that it was known where this huge amount received by the MQM-P-backed local government had been spent.

He demanded that the authorities conduct transparent investigations of corruption in the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation’s financial affairs but also place the names of Akhtar and the four DMC chairmen on the Exit Control List.

The document shared by the PSP alleged that the KMC had received more than Rs14 billion from the District ADP and raised Rs4.76 billion from its own resources. “As per the calculation, some 945 development projects could have been constructed in the city of Karachi,” it stated.

In addition to that, of the 209 union councils (UCs) in Karachi, MQM-P held 130 UCs and each of their chairmen received Rs24 million during the last four years at the rate of Rs500,000 rupees per month, the white paper read. The PSP alleged that in the four years, the 130 UC chairmen received a total of Rs3.12 billion, which was in addition to the district ADP and the KMC-generated revenue of Rs18.91 billion, which the civic body received for development works only.

“According to this calculation, MQM's local bodies representatives received about Rs21 billion for development works in Karachi. KMC received more than Rs37.70 billion separately in terms of salaries and pensions of employees, most of which was spent on inactive and ghost employees,” the white paper read.

“Despite receiving more than Rs1.70 billion for cleaning 26 drains in four years, Karachi continued to sink in boiling drains,” said Arshad Vohra, who also served as the Karachi deputy mayor with Akhar until March 2019 after the Election Commission of Pakistan disqualified him for defecting to the PSP.

He said ghost employees were a major cause of corruption in the KMC and called for a transparent and impartial investigation in this regard. Vohra said the KMC had 28 departments under its purview that were the source of a huge revenue. “These departments have become the worst examples of corruption and bad governance that have become part of history. Rs19.7 million were spent annually on salaries of inactive employees of City Aquarium which is closed and dysfunctional for years.”

He claimed that as the deputy mayor, he had collected more than Rs270 million — a record amount — under the head of the municipal utility charge tax during a short span of five months when Akhtar had been detained.

The veterinary department managed all the cattle markets and meat shops in Karachi, from which an average of Rs2 billion could have been easily earned in four years, but the corrupt officials only filled their own pockets, he said.

“This department has the potential to earn Rs1 billion per month, however, its annual revenue target was fixed at only Rs1 billion. The KMC’s IT department of KMC spends Rs15 million annually on salaries of MQM media cell members,” he alleged.