KARACHI - Karachi Administrator Barrister Murtaza Wahab on Friday said that receiving Rs230 million from Karachi Port Trust in the form of municipal tax will make the KMC financially stable.

“This amount will be spent on various development projects of Karachi. The construction of elevated expressway from ICI Bridge to Y Junction is being started at a cost of Rs14 billion, the Administrator expressed these views while addressing the ceremony along with Federal Minister for Ports and Shipping Faisal Sabzwari at Karachi Port Trust headquarters here.

Chairman KPT Syed Muhammad Tariq Huda, Additional Secretary Maritime Affairs Asad Rafi Chandna, Municipal Commissioner KMC Syed Afzal Zaidi, Finance Advisor Ghulam Murtaza Bhutto and other relevant officers were also present on this occasion. Speaking on the occasion, Federal Minister for Ports and Shipping Faisal Sabzwari said that KPT had decided in principle that whatever amount was due to KMC should be paid to it. He said that this was for the development and improvement of Karachi.

“KPT wanted to start four big projects in Karachi, for these projects NOC was required from Sindh government and KPT but due to no coordination between the two institutions, the NOC could not be issued. But now through mutual trust, this issue will also be resolved,” he added.

Murtaza Wahab said that no institution can run without taxation and the development of Karachi was actually the development of Karachi Port Trust as it was an important institution of the city. The Administrator on the occasion thanked Federal Minister Faisal Sabzwari and KPT Chairman Tariq Huda for the payment of money for taking a positive step for the improvement of KMC. He told about receiving municipality tax in electricity bill that this is not a new tax and it is being collected since 2009, adding that the tax has been reduced instead of increased. “A tax ranging from Rs 50 to Rs 200 will be collected,’ he said and added that earlier, Rs.5000 per unit was used to be collected from industrial zones.

Barrister Murtaza Wahab said that in the past, the money received in the form of municipal tax went to the pockets of officers and staff, but now the money that K-Electric will give to KMC will be in the form of a check and deposited into the KMC account. The Administrator of Karachi in response to a question said that some people are trying to create differences in connection with municipal taxes. He said that KMC had only 14000 employees and he did not recruit even a single person during his tenure.

Barrister Murtaza Wahab said that sustainability cannot come until roads are reconstructed.

“Before constructing the road, we have to fix the sewage system and water leakages, then the road will be sustainable, he added. The Administrator requested the people to support the KMC as this is our city and we all want it to improve.

Meanwhile, Administrator Karachi Barrister Murtaza Wahab on Friday said that the history and culture of our brother country Turkey was very important for us and establishment of the Turkish Cultural Center in Karachi would further strengthen the relations between the two countries. “The role of Turkey in the development of Pakistan is unforgettable. 

There are deep friendly relations between Pakistan and Turkey,” the administrator said this in a meeting with Turkish Consul General Cemal Sangu.

Karachi Commissioner Muhammad Iqbal Memon, Municipal Commissioner KMC Syed Afzal Zaidi and other officers were also present. On the occasion, a memorandum of understanding was signed between Yunus Emre Foundation of Turkey and Karachi Metropolitan Corporation. The Yunus Emre Foundation would establish a Turkish Cultural Center in Burns Garden Saddar, where Turkish language, its history, culture and art fields would be promoted.

 The MoU was signed by the Consul General of Turkey Semal Sengu on behalf of Yunus Emre Foundation, while Commissioner Karachi Muhammad Iqbal Memon signed on behalf of the Government of Sindh and Municipal Commissioner Syed Afzal Zaidi on behalf of KMC. Barrister Murtaza Wahab said that there were 63 Turkish cultural centers of this type working all over the world. “This will not only give the citizens of Karachi an opportunity to get aware with the history and culture of Turkey, but will also help to promote Asian arts and sciences at the local level,” he added.

The Administrator Karachi said that Turkey and Pakistan were expanding their relations in various fields and Turkish companies were working on many projects in Pakistan. The Administrator said that KMC will provide all possible support in this regard. On this occasion Turkish Consul General Semal Sengu hailed Karachi as the cultural center of Pakistan. He said that the Turkish Cultural Center in Karachi would add a new chapter to the mutual relations between the two countries and promote the culture of both countries. “We are grateful for the support received from the Government of Sindh and Karachi Metropolitan Corporation,” he added.