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The Sindh High Court (SHC) on Monday directed K-Electric (KE) to stop collecting Municipal Utility Charges and Taxes (MUCT) for Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) through consumers’ electricity bills.

This was decided in a hearing of a case lodged by a citizen against the collection of MUCT in KE bills. The municipal department was asked to implement different strategies to ensure revenue collection.

During the hearing, Karachi Administrator Murtaza Wahab argued that addition of KMC charges in electricity bills can enhance revenue collection, with the additional amount used to uplift Karachi.

KE terms power to levy tax ‘govt domain’

The court said taxes collected by KMC, prior to this move, were not utilised in Karachi. Wahab replied that they were being used to pay for different uplift schemes across the city.

The court noted that the state of sewerage and infrastructure of Karachi was in deplorable condition “hence we are unable to see where the tax is being used.”

The SHC adjourned the case for 10 days.

The KE began charging MUCT in the electricity bills for August 2022 issued in September 2022, a move which sparked widespread outcry across Karachi from the public that was vexed by the move.

Last week, on the matter of MUCT, a KE spokesperson had said, “the authority of imposing or removal of taxes lies with the federal and provincial governments, adding that KE is legally bound to follow the government’s instructions on implementation of taxes.

They also pointed out how big the problem of garbage is for the residents of Karachi and said there is a need for policies such as waste-to-energy, so that the garbage can be used in a beneficial and meaningful way.

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