KARACHI: Mayor Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) Waseem Akhtar, while strongly criticizing the rules and regulations defined in Sindh Local Government Act SLGA-2013 by the Sindh government, said that amendments were being crafted by himself for SLGA 2013 to strengthen the system and he was also struggling really hard and advocating the demand at the honorable Supreme Court of Pakistan for the implementation of Article 140A of Pakistan’s Constitution.
Speaking at a meeting during his visit to the Karachi Chamber of Commerce & Industry (KCCI) on Tuesday, the Mayor mentioned that due to untiring efforts being made since last four years, a realization has finally surfaced now as the honorable Chief Justice of Pakistan, before commencing a specific case proceedings, asked the AG Sindh to read Article 140A of the Constitution which categorically states that ‘administrative powers, political powers and financial powers should be devolved to the third tier of the government. Similarly, there is also some realization in Sindh government as recently a statement appeared in the media in which it was mentioned that Sindh government is looking forward to empower the Mayor and KMC.”
Chairman Businessmen Group & Former President KCCI Siraj Kassam Teli, General Secretary BMG AQ Khalil, President KCCI Agha Shahab Ahmed Khan, Senior Vice President Arshad Islam, Vice President Shahid Ismail, Chairman Special Committee for Small Traders Majeed Memon and others were present at the meeting.
Waseem Akhtar further said that the controversial SLGA 2013 has reduced the number of departments under KMC’s control while many other powers and compulsory functions, which even though are conferred to Mayor’s Office under SLGA 2013, are actually still under Sindh government’s domination which was the key reason for the massive number of problems being suffered by Karachi. “All revenue generating departments are being administered by the Sindh government while KMC manages only those departments including hospitals, parks, fire brigade etc. which are not earning anything but require a lot of funds.”
He said that within the limited resources, KMC was striving hard to somehow improve the performance of those departments which fall under its domain. “Although the hospitals and Parks under KMC’s control were not ideal and the people were facing a lot of difficulties but we are trying to improve the situation despite severe shortage of funds”, he added.
Referring to Siraj Teli’s remarks to resign from Mayor’s post if powerless, Waseem Akhter stated that he was not in favor of resigning from the post as it would prove counterproductive and would never help in exposing all the wrongdoings being done to Karachi by the Federal and Sindh governments.
He said that billions of rupees were being collected through various taxes by Sindh government while a meager amount being collected from charged parking was available to KMC and it was impossible to run the administrative affairs of the entire city from the nominal funds being generated from charged parking and parks’ entry tickets.
He was of the opinion that KMC cannot be blamed alone for the disaster being suffered by Karachi but others as well as the business & industrial community was also responsible as they are also busy in getting their business-related issues resolved only and are not vocally raising voice to get Karachi’s issues resolved.