Metropolitan Corporation Islamabad faces dire cash crunch

By: News Desk      Published: 02:52 PM, 27 Aug, 2020
Metropolitan Corporation Islamabad faces dire cash crunch
File photo.

The Metropolitan Corporation Islamabad (MCI) is facing a severe financial crunch despite the fact that Prime Minister Imran Khan has been making tall claims about empowering the local government institutions, reported 24NewsHD TV channel on Thursday.

Sources say the MCI is in urgent need of funds from the Capital Development Authority (CDA) to run the day-to-day affairs. It is worth noting that the CDA falls directly under the interior ministry.

But why this state of affairs? It is because of the fact that the approval of MCI rules of business is pending with the interior ministry. Hence, utilisation of funding in the federal capital is impossible with fully transferring the finance wing to the MCI.  

They said different department of MCI were still waiting for the necessary steps to be taken by the federal government. In this scenario, health services, environment, sanitation and fire and rescue are among the most affected departments.

Sources in the sanitation department say 25 of its vehicle have been out-of-order for a long period. Moreover, only 700 out of 1,700 sanctioned posts are currently filled which the city does not have the staff required to deal with the sanitation issues.

The sources added that four out of eight vehicles, including two ambulances, under the use of health services for field duties were also not in a working condition. To further complicate the situation, the staff members of environment and sports culture have also been called back after they loaned to the department.

According to these sources, similar situation is being faced by fire and rescue, sanitation and environment departments. The three departments need a total 100 new field staffers while several vehicles are also out-of-order.

Islamabad had its first elected local government setup as a result of the elections held November 30, 2015 after the introduction of Islamabad Capital Territory Local Government Act, 2015. 

But political friction after the PTI government assumed power in 2018 has hampered the working as Islamabad Mayor Sheikh Ansar Aziz belongs to the PML-N.

This situation had earlier reached a point where Ansar was suspended. However, he was later restored to his position after he challenged the move in the Islamabad High Court.