KARACHI -  The Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) is about to initiate a survey encompassing all categories of properties so as to expedite and streamline recovery of Municipal Utility Tax (MUT) in the metropolis.

Mayor of Karachi Wasim Akhtar said in an interview on Sunday that KMC faced severe budgetary deficit of Rs8 billion. “It does not only expect an urgent support from the provincial and federal governments, it is equally committed to raising funds on self-help basis,” he said.

Emphasizing the importance of the job, he said the current recovery rate of the only tax imposed by KMC, rest being fees, was pathetically low. "KMC is presently collecting on an average Rs15 million to Rs20 million as MUT against the envisaged Rs 250 million to Rs300 million per month," said the mayor. The massive population flow to Karachi during past 10 years and emergence of new businesses and habitat demands fresh survey to reassess numbers as well as value of properties located in the metropolis."This is important as the surge has also enhanced manifold the demand for civic amenities and facilities that again require massive funds to meet the same," he elaborated.

The properties to be covered were said to range from amenity plots to industrial, residential and commercial plots. Senior Finance Officer of KMC Khalid Mehmood, complimenting the mayor, said Karachi Metropolitan Corporation, as per existent estimates, can easily collect Rs600 million to Rs800 million under the head of MUT.

"However, since nothing can be done in vacuum, KMC has adopted a pragmatic approach and hired services of a reputable and equally credible organisation to conduct an elaborate survey," he said,

The organisation was said to have already realized the job in Punjab and has helped LMC strengthen its revenue generation capacities. In reply to another query, the Karachi mayor agreed that revenue collection in Karachi was in itself a major challenge and for the purpose, he said the KMC was therefore compelled to adopt measures as attachment of property and arrest of the non-payees.