SHC asks finance dept to resolve financial problems of KMC

Karachi: The Sindh High Court SHC on Wednesday directed deputy finance secretary to convene a meeting with financial advisor of Karachi Metropolitan Corporation KMC and resolve financial controversy between provincial government and KMC.

Head by Chief Justice of SHC Mushir Alam, the division bench gave this direction in a petition pertaining to nonpayment of salaries to KMC employees. The KMC workers union Sajjan, represented by counsel Nadeem Sheikh submitted that thousands of KMC employees, including the fire brigade staff, were not being paid salaries for the last two to three months.

He stated before the court that chief minister had announced that the provincial government would release Rs850.21 million every month for the payment of salaries to KMC employees, but the Sindh government has not released the same for the last two to three months without any reason.

He said that there are 32000 employees of the KMC and 22000 pensioners, who are not being paid salaries and pensions for long.

During the proceedings, Shakeel Ahmed, deputy secretary finance government of Sindh submitted that the allocation of amount for local government and municipal cooperation are made under the provincial finance commission award. He said that after the seventh National Finance Commission NFC award, the Zila Octroi Tax has been abolished.

He said that earlier an amount was being paid by federal government in lieu of the Zila tax. However, he added that after same has been stopped and the provincial government has taken over the responsibility.

He stated that since expenses of KMC were in excess of budgetary allocation the chief minister has sanctioned a total Rs3 billion as grantinaid to KMC to meet its expenditures which is in addition to the regular share under provincial finance commission award. It was stated that grantinaid is being given in installments of Rs5million per month.

The court observed that as a large number of workers are affected by the nonpayment of salaries. It said that it is desirable that financial issue and controversy should be resolved in meeting between deputy secretary finance and financial advisor of KMC. The court ordered the meeting to be convened within 10 days and report after taking stock of issue may be placed before the court for appropriate orders as required under law.

The court also directed Counsel representing KMC to file a tabulated statement showing total amount payable to KMC on account of salary and retirement benefits, amount payable and spent towards nonsalary account and amount allocated and used for development expenses.

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