KMC doesn't earn enough to run Karachi: Wahab

Administrator Karachi Murtaza Wahab has brought to light the fact that the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) hardly earns Rs10.7 million annually to run the affairs of a port city with more than 16 million people.

The annual income of the KMC is too low to return the metropolis to the glory of the past.

The municipal tax collection was Rs1.7 million in 1918 for about 200,000 people and in 2021, its just Rs10.7 million for over 16 million people.

"We need to collect taxes - municipal and property," said Karachi Administrator Barrister Murtaza Wahab. "We cannot rely [forever] on borrowing money from the provincial government," he added.

Wahab was speaking at an event called 'How the City of Karachi Works -Past, Present and Future'. The function was organised by CLICK, a nonprofit organisation. "Karachi cannot be managed properly without money."

He said that the KMC has its own resource generating avenues, including 11 petrol pumps, 61 commercial markets and 245 huts. "They do not produce enough revenue," he said. "For example, we get only Rs61,000 annually from the huts."

To solve the growing issues, Wahab said the idea of collecting municipal tax through K-Electric, the power supplying company, was initiated. He said that K-Electric distributes three million bills monthly.

He said the aim was to collect Rs200 from all these people. "We could collect Rs70.20 million monthly."

Appreciating public-private partnerships of the past, the administrator said the city progressed and looked beautiful because the people of Karachi had a sense of ownership. "This is our city. This is our children's city. We have to own it."