KARACHI: Residents in Karachi are protesting against the addition of the Karachi Municipal Corporation’s (KMC) tax to K-Electric’s (KE) bills.
The protests erupted after the KMC, a day ago, came under fire for authorising the KE to collect municipal charges from the people of Karachi through their power bills. Various political parties have rejected the Sindh government and KMC’s move, calling it an effort to fleece Karachi’s people.
The KMC tax to consumers’ monthly electricity bills was added this month, which triggered anger among citizens — who are now demanding KE also pick up their garbage.
Residents from different areas in the port city are complaining about trash in their areas by calling on KE’s helpline 118 and visiting their complaint centres.
The campaign, protesting against the tax, has garnered traction on social media with a particular video doing the rounds where a consumer is seen dumping trash on KE’s vehicle and demanding for the power supply company to pick up the garbage from a roadside bin.
The in-charge of KE’s vehicle steps out to talk to the citizen who does not pay any heed to the power supply company’s employee, after which he eventually gives up and drives away the vehicle.
Through the campaign, the public is being urged to throw trash in any of the KE’s vehicles or outside the nearest electricity-providing company’s offices if KMC does not come to clean their areas.
KMC administrator says KMC tax not new
Earlier, regarding the collection of municipality utility charges and tax (MUCT) through the electricity bills, the KMC administrator said this was not a new tax and it was being collected since 2009. The KMC, he said, had reduced MUCT instead of increasing it.
“A tax ranging from Rs50 to Rs200 will be collected,” he said adding that earlier, Rs5,000 per unit was used to be collected from industrial zones.
Murtaza explained that in the past, the tax received in the form of municipal charges would go into the pockets of officers and staff, but now the K-Electric (KE) would give this tax to the KMC and it would be in the form of a cheque that would be deposited in the KMC account.
In response to a question, he said that some people were trying to create an issue in connection with the municipal taxes. He added that the KMC had only 14,000 employees and he did not recruit even a single person so far during his tenure.