Karachi            -      Mayor Karachi Wasim Akhtar said yesterday that elected local government representatives wanted to provide relief to people in next Karachi Metropolitan Corporation budget by allocating more amount for development work rather than non-development ones.

Addressing a meeting to review budget for the next fiscal year, Wasim Akhtar said that COVID-19 pandemic had affected the KMC revenue. He added that it would be impossible to achieve target owing to circumstances during last four months. He said the situation would remain same in upcoming months that’s why they were not expecting any increase in the KMC revenue.

“The KMC revenue collection went down while expenditures on salaries, pension, retired employees’ dues, medicines at hospitals, animals’ feed at zoos and utility bills are still the same,” he added.

The mayor said that neither Sindh government provided special grants to KMC in the wake of COVID-19 nor it gave any assitance to hospitals under administrative control of KMC. He said that KMC was operating all hospitals from its own resources.

Akhtar said that work on several development schemes in Karachi had halted as the provincial government had so far provided only Rs 625 million under Annual Development Programme. “The contractors have stopped working as they could not be paid,” he said.

The mayor added that in the next budget, an amount would be allocated for several new schemes as well as incomplete projects of the previous budget which could not be completed on time due to shortage of required funds. He said UC chairmen and head of KMC different departments had also suggested schemes, adding that the feasible suggested schemes would also be incorporated.

He said the next KMC will be limited as the provincial government kept all revenue generating departments with it. Akhtar said that the budget session of KMC would be held with all precautionary measures and all members would be bound to follow standard operating procedures (SOPs).

Meanwhile, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader and MNA Aftab Siddiqui and MPA Shehzad Qureshi have said that Sindh ministers should step out of press conferences and statements to improve health and hygiene and other things in Sindh. The Sindh government has turned Karachi into a garbage dump. The city is littered with piles of rubbish and filth, which could lead to the spread of other epidemics.

In a statement issued from Insaf House, the leaders further said that the people have no hope from the Sindh government. According to the Meteorological Department, more than above normal rainfall is expected in the monsoon this year. As soon as the rains start, the piles of dirt in the city will cause diseases for the citizens.

Sindh government deals with verbal deposits and evasiveness in every matter. It seems as if all the local bodies of the city have gone into isolation. The Sindh government has run the government in 12 years only through rhetoric. The Sindh government should take the nails of conscience and take immediate steps for cleanliness in the city.