Federal Minister for Maritime Affairs, Faisal Sabzwari has said that the Karachi Port Trust (KPT) has decided to pay the municipal tax to the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC).
The KPT Act has a provision for payment of municipal tax, but former maritime affairs minister Ali Zaidi had approved payment of only a few million rupees to the KMC, Sabzwari said while speaking at a press conference. He was accompanied by Karachi Administrator Barrister Murtaza Wahab.
"An amount of Rs230 million has already been paid to the KMC in municipal tax," he added. "Now, the KPT is contributing to the development of Karachi by paying the municipal tax." Sabzwari further said that the KPT was giving Rs2 billion for a the sewage treatment plant in the city.
The minister claimed that he was in contact with the business community on the issue of their shipping containers stuck at the Karachi port, saying that he had secured the release of such containers after negotiations with the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) in the past. He revealed that a big announcement regarding port damages charges was expected for the business community soon.
While speaking about the local bodies (LB) elections, Sabzwari, who belongs to the MQM, said that his party still had reservations on the issue of municipal constituencies, saying that they have already moved the court on this issue. "Every party should prepare in advance for the LB polls," he added.
Two days back, the Election Commission of Pakistan announced the schedule for the LB elections in Karachi, which were previously postponed twice.
According to the new schedule, polling would be held in all districts of the metropolitan city on October 23.
While speaking on his part, Administrator Wahab welcomed the talks between KPT and KMC, saying that financial issues between the two had been lingering for eight years.
He said that K-Electric would collect the Municipal Utility Charges and Taxes (MUCT) from consumers on the orders of the federal and provincial governments. The Sindh government had tried for one year to collect the MUCT for the KMC via electricity bills of the K-E, but the opposition parties had foiled the move.
Wahab sought to defend the controversial tax saying K-E would be charging Rs200 per consumer in its bills and the money thus collected would be spent by the KMC on improving the city’s infrastructure. He claimed that the Sindh government would build a road from ICI Bridge to
KPT at a cost of Rs14 billion.
Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.
For more information, please see our Comments FAQ