The federal government has refused to allow Sindh to collect the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) tax through K Electric bills. “I have spoken to Energy Minister Hammad Azhar regarding this matter and we will not permit the collection of taxes through power bills,” Federal Minister for Planning and Development Asad Umar said while speaking to media in Karachi. On Wednesday, Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah had unveiled the provincial government’s plan to collect two taxes on behalf of the KMC – fire tax and conservancy tax – from the citizens of Karachi through the monthly K-Electric bill. However, Asad Umer said that the federal government would not allow Sindh to charge KMC taxes in electricity bills. “We will not approve Sindh’s proposal,” he asserted. During the press conference, the minister announced that the 2023 general elections will be held under a new census. He said there were discrepancies in the last census held in Karachi in 2017, and recalled that the Council of Common Interests had also acknowledged these concerns. He said the government would now use “digital technology” for the census. “We had constituted a team of experts and they have completed their consultations on the matter,” he said. The minister said that the Ministry of Information and Technology, Pakistan Telecommunication Authority, National Database and Registration Authority, National Telecom Corporation and Suparco will be taken on board during the process. “We don’t want any discrepancies. We will keep the census transparent,” he said. “The Sindh government had collected all the census data themselves, however, they still protested.” He said the census would begin in September and would be conducted during a period of 18 months. “Since elections are held based on the census, we will begin preparations for the next census in September or October this year,” he said. “We will complete the new census by March 23,” he announced. “The government will also form constituencies based on the new census data before the general elections of 2023.” He said that the federal government has provided vaccines worth more than Rs10 billion for Karachi, however, the provincial government has so far failed to provide a single dose of the vaccine. Announcing good news for Karachiites, the federal minister revealed that the Green Line will be opened for the people next month. He also pointed out that water supply was another major issue for Karachiites, adding that work on the K-IV project was expected to start in Feb 2022.