‘Kala Budget’ deprives Karachiites of Rs830m daily
KARACHI: The turf war for taking control of the rudderless city of Karachi continues unabated. The blood of residents is daily squeezed through extortion chits, kidnappings for ransom, encroachments, loot and plunder, street crimes, police excessives and other crimes. The residents of the city of lights are deprived of Rs830 million on account of its ‘Kala Budget’ (black budget).
You must have watched and listened to the yearly budgets of the federal and provincial governments, but ‘Geo News’ has collected precise data from different investigative reports — surveys by experts, general views, observations by politicians and opinions of former judges, police officials of the IG and DIG level, officials of the civil and military bureaucracy — according to which Karachiites pay Rs830 million in this ‘Kala Budget’ to official and unofficial rogue elements.
Ten million rupees is being collected as extortion from 550 small and big markets of the city. Those who lead a lavish life out of this black budget are unknown, and the people keep mum afraid to reveal the unknown to save their lives.
Kidnapping for ransom, like bank robbery, in Karachi has become the most lucrative crime for the past few years. Such crimes do not surface because of fear, and the fear of becoming well-known among the criminals. Traders and industrialists are compelled to pay millions of rupees daily on this count. Each kidnapping generates millions of rupees ransom. This money comprises about Rs50 million daily in the ‘Kala Budget’.
On the other hand, the parking mafia has marked more than 500 parking areas in the city. Such parking lots generate Rs2.4 million daily by extending parking facilities to citizens illegally. There are more than 55,000 roadside stalls in the bazaars of the city. Each stall pays Rs100 to Rs200 daily to the ‘beaters’. About Rs8.25 million are collected daily through this practice, and who pockets this money is not known.
One of the major sources of black money is water theft in the city by the sea. Be it earnings through tankers or water theft through hydrants, Rs100 million is earned by selling 272 million gallons of water daily. Meanwhile, a beat collection of Rs150 million is made each day by 15,000 gambling and narcotics dens across the city.
Encroachers occupied 30,000 acres of government land worth Rs80 billions during the year. Rs14.8 million is generated daily from public transport.
Twenty-five thousand buses, wagons and coaches pay Rs200 to 300 daily. A ‘gunda’ tax of Rs40 daily is paid by 4,000 Chingchi rickshaw owners’ 20,000 auto rickshaw drivers and 7,000, taxis.
Goods transport trucks, containers, and oil tankers each pay between Rs1,000 to Rs3,000 which amounts to Rs7.5 million daily.The state kitty suffers a daily loss of Rs15 million because of power theft. It includes 4,000 to 5,000 ‘kundas’.
On the medical front, Rs3 million is grabbed from the poor. 20,000 patients daily visit hospitals and they have to pay Rs20 for medical slips.
The people of Karachi are deprived of 40 to 50 motorcycles and 20 to 25 vehicles daily. If at all any vehicle is recovered, it is only structure. The common citizens daily wash their hands of Rs2.5 million on this count.
And not only for the 69 traffic sections, SHOs, in charges of police posts, head muharrar and beat staff, but also tenders of Rs5 million are opened for appointments to district SSP level posts. From a police constable to high authorities, everyone has his share in this game.
The data of this billions of rupees monthly auction tells that Rs210 million is made through this exercise daily and has a big share in ‘Kala Budget’. The payers of this money get their investment with interest from the public.