KARACHI: The Public Accounts Committee of Sindh Assembly was informed on Wednesday that federal, provincial departments, Governor, CM Houses, judges, Rangers, ASF, lawmakers and other VIPs are the defaulters of the Karachi Water and Sewerage Board as they used the public utility without paying charges.
However, the accountability body while directing the water board to issue notice to the defaulters and write a letter to them with PAC’s directives.The PAC, which met with its chairman Sardar Jam Tamachi Unar in the chair at Sindh Assembly building here on Wednesday, discussed 16 audit paras of audit report for FY2010-11 which involved billion of rupees outstanding to the different ministries of provincial and federal governments, Governor House, CM House, Judges, Airport Security Force, lawmakers and other VIPs on account of water utility they used without payment charges.
DG Audit of Local Councils Muhammad Ali Bukhari told the PAC that water board has not devised any method to ensure recovery of arrears outstanding to different organizations and individuals.Karachi Water and Sewerage Board MD Misbahuddin Fareed told the elected body that Pakistan Steel Mills, KPT, Port Qasim Authority, KESC as well as ministries of provincial and federal governments are defaulter of Rs4 to 5 billion on account of water they used but avoided paying of charges.Water Board MD disclosed that a total of Rs22 billion are currently outstanding to the government organisations and individuals. He said that the issue was brought into the notice of President, PM, governor, CM and other authorities but to no avail.
“Committees formed by the authorities to resolve the issue, which so far benefited nothing in terms of recovery of the outstanding amount liable to the defaulters,” MD remarked. Water board MD further informed the accountability body that when the KESC was public sector the electricity tariff was Rs4 per unit, which now reached at Rs18 per unit, enhancing the burden of electricity bills on the water board.Despite running in loss, the water board still paying GST, he said and suggested exemption of this tax for the public utility organization.He said that Water Board recommended raise in the water tariff but industrialists opposed it every time.
He appealed that the government to pay the electricity bills of water board by the provincial or federal government.He attributed the law and order situation affected the recovery of the water charges from the consumers, besides influential defaulters avoiding payments of the water charges for many years.On the pattern of Ogra or Nepra, he also suggested for establishment of a Water Regulatory Body.Regarding non-recovery of outstanding amount of Rs23.939 million in terms of water provided to the different organizations through water tankers, the meeting was told that water provided to the Governor House, CM House, registrar Supreme Court and Sindh High Court, judges, Airport Security Force, MNAs, MPAs and other VIPs through tanker service, but sum of Rs23.939 million still outstanding them.
The PAC directed the MD KWSB to circulate the lists of defaulters and issue notices to them.PAC was told that the DG Ranger has been living at the residence of the Water Board but he did not pay the rent for many years, besides other officers of the Water Board living in the official residence and receiving the house rent too, which is violation of rules. DG Audit said that the rent should be deducted from the salaries of the officers enjoying the official residence facility at the water board. Meanwhile, during the discussion on the audit paras of the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation, the Administrator KMC Muhammad Hussain Syed told the PAC that the plots/land and Parks have been encroached but no one is helping the KMC to get the encroached land vacated.
During the discussion on an audit para regarding short receipt of Rs38.057 million from allotees of plots in city, KMC Administrator of KMC told the PAC that plots allotted to the people have come under encroachment as issue was brought in the attention of all high ups but no one turned up in this regard.He disclosed that KMC’s plots have been encroached by Taliban and other influential groups between cottage industry and Itehad Town at Orangi Town. ‘We can’t go with sticks to get vacate our land, so we returning back money paid by the allotees for plots’, KMC administrator said. He added that a Park of KMC has been encroached in Gulistan e Johar block 15, but police and other authorities have not come for rescue as KMC has not police force in this regard. PAC decided to write a letter to the CM to look into the matter to get vacate the government which come under encroachment.