Karachi Mayor Wasim Akhtar on Tuesday said the Sindh government had not issued funds for a 15 percent increase in salaries for Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) employees announced in the 2019-20 Budget, while 5,591 retired staff had been waiting for their contributions since 2015.
Speaking to KMC finance department officials, the mayor said there was a shortage of Rs165 million in the heads of salaries and employee pensions every month. Coordination of senior director Masood Alam, financial advisor Riaz Khatri, welfare director Mehmood Baig, legal advisor Azra Muqeem and other officials were present on the occasion.
Even doctors and paramedics who are fighting COVID-19 from the front lines in hospitals under KMC administrative control are prohibited from making additions, he said. “I have approached Prime Minister Imran Khan and Sindh Chairman Syed Murad Ali Shah many times but without success,” he added.
He said retired employees, including parents, sick people and women “visit the KMC office every day hoping to get their contributions cleared but return without anything because there is a lack of funds with KMC”.
“They have served Karachi and Pakistan for years and are now fighting for their contributions. It should not have happened to them,” he said. The mayor said salary shortages were covered with income every month but now there is almost no income due to lockouts. “KMC employees, especially health workers, rescue workers, firefighters, carry out their duties with courage even during a pandemic,” he said.
He was of the view that the issue of employee salaries was brought before the chief minister during the meeting where he convinced him to sign the summary at the earliest. “We have to pay Rs3,35 billion to retired employees who have been waiting for their dues since 2015.”
He directed the finance department to take steps to increase department revenue, adding that city service bills must also be collected from residents.
During the meeting, they discussed preparations for next year’s budget. The meeting participants were told that the development scheme last year could not be completed on time due to lack of funds.
“That amount must be allocated for the completion of last year’s scheme,” the mayor said. Participants were informed that the UC Chair and heads of different departments of the KMC had also proposed a road and sewerage scheme for their area. “The new scheme for the KMC Parks Department, Public Administration, City Utilities and others will be included in the 2019-20 budget,” the meeting said.
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