LWMC seeks sustainability through proposed ‘garbage tax’ | Pakistan Today

LWMC seeks sustainability through proposed ‘garbage tax’

–New fee on waste collection to be imposed following govt’s approval

–Locals decry ‘another tax’ amid wave of inflation; LWMC official says rates yet to be finalised

–Aleem Khans says will impose a minimal fee when proposal decided upon

LAHORE: Lahore Waste Management Company (LWMC), in order to make the company sustainable and on the government’s orders, has prepared a plan to impose “garbage tax” on the people, whereas the proposal for the same has been sent to the Local Government secretary.

The new tax will be imposed following the approval of the minister concerned.

According to sources, LWMC in 2012 had prepared a plan to impose a cleanliness fee in the city and it was to be enforced during the term of the then setup. The proposed fee was between Rs100 to 600 and was once again reviewed in 2015, but could not be executed.

“In a bid to revive the aborted plan, the proposal now sent to the government includes various recommendations about the imposition of garbage tax on houses sized five marlas and more; commercial areas, including shops, business outlets and offices, as well as on industrial units like factories and mills.”

The monthly tax now proposed is Rs86 per marla for residential units whereas for commercial units it is Rs430 per marla, they said.

“A few areas have also been declared as red zones which include The Mall, Hall Road, Shadman, Moon Market, Gulshane Ravi, Gulberg, Liberty Chowk, MM Alam Road, Garden Town, Shah Alam Market, Township and Faisal Town.”

“I don’t know how many more tactics would the new government adopt to loot people belonging to the middle and lower class,” said Samina Amjad, a resident of the Shadman neighbourhood, while reacting to the news.

A local of the Shahdara area, Gulnar Bano, said they had high hopes from the new government and anticipated relief in “Naya Pakistan”, however, their miseries had been added to by the recent wave of inflation and increased taxes.

“This is not the system they promised to bring after coming to power. I don’t think that LWMC should be paid a single penny for the work they are doing as there is rarely a time when our neighbourhood is tidy. They sure aren’t doing a good job and this fee might only be a new way of minting money.”

Farhan Malik, a resident of Gulberg, on the other hand, said that it might turn out to be a good initiative as a number of housing societies in Lahore are already running this mechanism to maintain cleanliness.

“I think people should support this decision of the government and it would surely enhance the cleanliness mechanism as well.”

LWMC Communication Manager Jamil Khawar, while talking to Pakistan Today, said, “We want to run the company on a self-sustainable model and had given this idea to the previous government as well. However, it didn’t give the approval in this regard because they probably didn’t want to take any risk ahead of the elections.”

He further said that the proposal was with the Local Government secretary and the plan would be implemented after an approval of the minister concerned. The rates are yet to be finalised and might vary from area to area, he added.

Speaking of the tax collection mechanism he said the company had its own teams that would collect it.  It would be a door-to-door collection system and nine towns will be divided among nine collection companies to whom we would be awarding work once the contract with Bayrak ends in 2020.”

Meanwhile, Senior Minister Aleem Khan told Pakistan Today that the ministry as of yet had not made any decision in this regard.

“The Punjab government is spending nearly Rs1.25 billion on the cleanliness of Lahore and we plan to impose tax once the contract of the present waste collection company ends. We will impose a minimal fee and the system will run as per the 2001 ordinance,” he said.

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