Non-payment of salaries: SHC seeks meeting to resolve govt-KMC funds issue

KARACHI: Sindh High Court (SHC) on Tuesday directed secretary local government department to convene a meeting of all stakeholders to resolve funds controversy between provincial government and Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) so that salaries could be paid to KMC and District Municipal Corporation (DMC) employees.

A division bench of SHC, headed by Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar, issued this direction while hearing a petition against non-payment of salaries to employees of KMC and DMC.

The KMC workers union, Sajjan, through its counsel Nadeem Sheikh, submitted in the application that thousands of employees, including the fire brigade department staff, and pensioners had not been paid salaries for the last two to three months.

He submitted that the chief minister had announced that the government would release Rs850.21 million every month for the payment of the salaries, but it had not done it for the last three months without any reason.

The counsel said that due to negligence on the part of the government, the employees were facing hardships and were unable to bear their monthly expenses. He asked the court to take notice of the state of affairs and direct the government to ensure the payment of salaries and pensions within stipulated time.

Earlier, the court had directed municipal commissioners of West, East, South, Central and Malir districts to appear before the court and submit their reply on the application.

During the hearing, municipal commissioners of West, East, Central and Malir districts appeared before the court and told that salaries have been paid to all employees but some amount on account of overtime and office allowance had not been paid due to shortage of funds.

Muhammad Raisee, municipal commissioners of South district, submitted that salary for the month of October had not been paid to the employees of DMC south. He said that salary of officers in grade-17 and 18 for September was also due, adding that amount was available with them but only cheques were not signed.

He told the court that DMC south, a big DMC, was facing shortage of funds due to huge salary bills of employees. He said that government had not paid share of property tax for quarter commencing from July to September 2013.

Shakeel Ahmed deputy secretary finance submitted that he would pursue this matter diligently so that within short period settlement over share of tax between provincial government and all DMCs was reached and share of property tax would be released to them.

President CBA submitted that Christian employees were working in different DMCs and KMC and their Christmas festivity was approaching nearer. He requested the court to direct authorities to pay them advance salaries of December.

Deputy Fiancé secretary said that there was likelihood that next Octori and Zilla Tax would be realsed to all DMCs by 12 December, out of which they could pay salaries to Christian employees.

The bench directed secretary local government department to convene a meeting of all stakeholders to resolve funds controversy between provincial government and KMC within 20 days.

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