Karachi: Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah has directed officials to grant a “one-time relief” to the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation and other local bodies so that they can pay pension and gratuity to their retired employees.
The chief minister presided over a meeting to resolve pension issues of the KMC, DMCs, HAD, KDA and other local bodies this week.
The meeting was attended by Agriculture Minister Ismail Rahu, Local Government Minister Nasir Shah, Chief Secretary Mumtaz Shah, PSCM Sajid Jamal Abro, Finance Secretary Hassan Naqvi, Agriculture Secretary Rahim Soomro and the KMC municipal commissioner.
The chief minister was informed that the KMC has 12,900 employees and their salary bill was over Rs560 million and the pension bill Rs330 million. But the recoveries were very low as compared to the expenditures, officials said.
The KMC was paying pension to its retired employees on a regular basis but the payment of gratuity became an issue, the local government minister said. Therefore, the retired KMC employees were facing problems, he said.
The chief minister said that it was an injustice to retired employees. The local government department should resolve the issue in consultation with the finance department, he directed.
On a long-term basis, CM Shah said, the KMC must improve its recoveries. “The finance department would provide necessary funds, if there is any shortfall in payment of outstanding gratuity,” he said.
The chief minister directed the Sindh Revenue Board to explore ways to start collecting KMC’s local taxes so that its revenue collection could be strengthened. He directed the local government secretary to hold a meeting with SRB officials and explore possibilities to hand them over KMC’s recoveries.
“I want the KMC to be a self-sufficient organisation by improving the performance of its revenue-generating body,” CM Shah said.
He said the Sindh government was giving Rs161.035 million Octroi and Zila Tax, Rs430 million regular grant-in-aid, Rs215.489 million pension contribution and Rs806.524 million on a monthly basis to the KMC. “We are fully supporting the metropolitan corporation, but it has to be a better organization by rationalizing its expenditures and improving its performance.”
The chief minister directed the KMC to digitize its property data by doing geo-mapping and regularizing its unregistered markets and shops. The KMC should conduct a survey to enhance its rental rates as per the current market value, he added.
The KMC has its own petrol pumps and it should preferably auction them to oil companies instead of handing them over to individuals, he suggested.
“The KMC has a lot of open plots on the most valuable locations where it can establish new filling stations, malls on the PPP (public-private partnership) mode,” CM Shah said.
He directed the chief secretary to resolve the issues by giving these local bodies a one-time relief and then working out a plan to enable these organizations to pay salaries, pension and gratuity from their own pockets.