Mere weeks after the city district government of Karachi presented a Rs72 billion budget, the entire system was changed. Now, the CDGK no longer manages Karachi and instead the newly reinstated Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) will do the job. It has been told to come up with its own budget, which is likely to be just Rs25 billion, a fraction of the original.
“The budget will only reflect KMC’s revenues and expenditures,” said KMC commissioner Altaf G Memon. He explained why the budget would be smaller. Many departments that were part of the CDGK have been taken away and put under the Sindh government. For example, now health, education, and the all-important works and services will be managed by the Sindh government. The KMC will be responsible for sanitation (garbage lifting), the fire brigade and primary health units, for example.
“The actual size of the KMC is the same as it was in 1979,” Memon said.
The administrative machinery has also shrunk from 50,000 staffers under the CDGK to just half, or 27,000 under the KMC.
Thus, according to Memon, the new KMC budget for 2011-2012 would be drafted for a limited number of departments and only 27,000 employees. It is likely to be ready by the end of this month.
Memon confirmed that for now, none of the district municipal commissioners have access to funds.
KWSB and KDA
The changes have also affected the water board, which was part of the CDGK. “As the Karachi Water and Sewerage Board (KWSB) has been separated from the KMC it will have an impact on our budget,” Memon said.
Also, the defunct Karachi Development Authority (KDA) will be officially revived through a KDA Order 2011.
The paperwork has yet to be processed. A KDA director general will be appointed to head it.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 20th, 2011.
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