KARACHI (PPI) - Since resumption of collecting Public Utility Charges (PUC) by the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation a month ago, citizens are still unresolved whether to pay the PUC tax over KMC’s apparent poor performance in improving municipal conditions and overall civic problems - traffic woes in particular - being braved by the citizens.
Utility bills issued every three month is aimed at providing fire fighting services, up keeping civic amenities, ensuring cleanliness of streets on war footing basis and to maintaining street lights. Contrary to the claims, heaps of garbage is often seen lying unattended in various localities including of Saddar, Lyari and Jamshed Towns; besides, faulty street lights with out-of-order traffic on major thoroughfares also cast doubts on claims of the KMC for maintaining the civic facilities. The distribution of bill resumed from February 2012.
“I don’t get the hang of paying ‘so-called’ utility charges bill when there is no improvement of sewerage and sanitation conditions. The sewerage pipe has broken in my area and water is accumulating on the street for a week but none of the KMC concerned team bothered to repair it,” complained a resident of Liaqatabad, Maroof Rasool.
Similar kind of complaints are received from residents of different localities who moaned at the surplus tax imposed by KMC in a critical time when poverty-stricken masses are struggling to pay exorbitant electricity bills by private management of Karachi Electricity Supply Corporation.
It is learnt that the defunct CDGK failed to achieve its target of collecting PUC of last two years, which stood at Rs 400 million. KMC has set a target of Rs3 billion of tax recovery in 2012.
For residential units, a house on 40 to 80 square yards is required to pay Rs 70; from 81 to 120 square yards, Rs 150; from 121 to 240 square yards Rs 200; from 241 to 500 yards Rs 300; 501 to 1,000 yards Rs 500; and a house on 1,001 square yards and above has to pay Rs 800 as utility tax.
For commercial buildings, a unit measuring up to 200 square yards is charged at Rs 500 from 201 to 500 yard Rs 1,000; from 501 to 1,000 yards Rs 1,500; 1,001 to 2,000 yards Rs 2,000; from 2001 to 3,000 yards Rs 2,500; from 3,001 to 5,000 yards Rs 3,000; units on 5,001 yards and above would pay Rs 5,000. Regarding industrial amenity plots measuring up to 1,000 square yards are charged at a rate of Rs 500; from 1,001 to 5,000 square-yard plots at Rs 1,000; and 5,001 square yards and above were charged at a rate of Rs 2,000.
Meanwhile, Administrator KMC Muhammad Hussain Syed in a review meeting a week ago on municipal services tax clarified that no new tax was imposed on the citizens and said KMC was not charging for any of its services besides the municipal services utility tax.
He further said that KMC was performing public welfare works constantly like construction and maintenance of roads, flyovers, underpasses and overhead bridges were carried out to improve the city infrastructure besides the installation of street lights and storm water drains, developing beautiful parks and playgrounds for citizens and their maintenance, sanitation works and cleaning and de-silting of drains, tree plantation, fumigation, deputation of city wardens and provision of education and health care facilities to citizens of Karachi.
He mentioned that owing to some reasons these bills could not be delivered to citizens in last two quarters and now the bill for current quarter was issued.