KARACHI: While Administrator Murtaza Wahab says to put the city back on its feet financially, the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation has not issued municipal utility tax (MUCT) bills, commonly known as the municipal service tax, to the citizens in the past four months. , did he appear on Sunday.
Entrust this to Dawn, knowledgeable sources said MUCT invoices are issued to consumers on a quarterly basis, but no invoices have been issued in the current fiscal year which began on July 1, 2021, the printing contract and distribution of invoices not yet finalized.
They said the printing and distribution of MUCT invoices was outsourced by KMC and the printing and distribution contract expired in May.
However, they said the KMC municipal services department had managed to raise around Rs 50 million from various banks at the head of MUCT over the past four months.
Rs220m collected in FY21
The sources said that the takeover of MUCT constantly shows a downward trend, as 220 million rupees was collected in the last fiscal year ended June 30, 2021, while 280 million rupees was collected in 2019.
They said the KMC conducted a survey of more than 25 different banks and found that many of them were not in the official data.
Currently, KMC uses KWSB data to send quarterly invoices to 1.4 million consumers
The sources said the KMC is currently relying on data of 1.45 million consumers from the Karachi Water and Sewerage Board, which was not accurate as the number of consumers could exceed three million.
Recently, attorney Murtaza Wahab, who is also the spokesperson for the provincial government as well as CM’s legal advisor, pitched the idea of ââcollecting KMC taxes through monthly K-Electric bills.
He said that barely 151.6 million rupees was collected under the municipal utility tax and claimed that KMC would get 600 million rupees per month and 7.20 billion rupees per year from the collecting 200 rupees per user through KE invoices.
However, Federal Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Minister Asad Umar had opposed the proposal to collect KMC taxes through electricity bills, saying the federal government would not allow it.
The city’s main opposition parties, including the Muttahida Qaumi-Pakistan Movement (MQM-P), Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf, Jamaat-i-Islami, have also opposed the plan to collect KMC taxes via invoices. electricity.
No advance on collection via KE invoices
Those who opposed the proposal feared that KE could cut off consumers’ electricity if they did not pay the KMC taxes imposed by the Sindh government.
The National Electricity Regulatory Authority has also indicated that it will not allow KE to collect KMC taxes from citizens as this is outside the purview of the executive.
KMC’s Municipal Services Department approached Nepra on September 16 to seek permission from KE to collect charges and taxes on municipal utility bills on behalf of KMC through its monthly Karachi Division utility bill. and to sign a formal memorandum of understanding between KMC and KE.
Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah also called a meeting on September 8 in which the head of KE expressed conditional consent to the inclusion of taxes / charges in KE’s electricity bills subject to the approval from the Ministry of Energy and Nepra.
However, sources within the city’s municipal administration said there had been no progress in this regard as no official response had so far been received from Nepra to the KMC’s request. .
Posted in Dawn, November 1, 2021