The federal government has announced the withdrawal of the Presidential Ordinance on Gas Infrastructure Development Cess (GIDC) after severe criticism.
A statement from the Prime Minister’s Secretariat regarding the withdrawal of the ordinance has also been issued, stating that the decision was taken by Prime Minister Imran Khan in the context of resolving the ongoing dispute in a transparent manner. Is.
The Prime Minister has directed the Attorney General to approach the Supreme Court on the GIDC issue and file an application as soon as possible.
The statement also said that the Prime Minister has informed the public that the decision to go to the Supreme Court can come in their favor or against it.
The statement also mentioned the reasons for issuing the presidential ordinance, since billions of rupees were not coming to the national exchequer due to various companies getting orders from the courts, which led to a settlement outside the court. Was tried.
The statement said that the cases on the GIDC case have continued from the year 2012 to the year of 2018 but the Supreme Court had rejected the tax in 2012 and rejected the review petition filed in this regard. Had done
It should be noted that a few days ago, the federal government, through a presidential ordinance, waived more than 200 billion rupees in GIDC in favor of fertilizer, textile, CNG and energy companies. Was said about.
Prior to this presidential ordinance, several companies had an obligation of Rs 417 billion till December 2018, of which six fertilizer companies accounted for Rs 138 billion.
Rs 42 billion for the textile industry, Rs 7 billion for GIPC in IPPs, Rs 57 billion for Karachi Electric, Rs 80 billion for CNG sector and Rs 4 billion for general industry. Are.
Sui Southern and Sui Northern companies owe Rs 78 billion while other small companies owe billions of rupees.
The presidential ordinance stated that the amount owed to these companies was Rs 417 billion, of which half the amount was deposited in the state exchequer within three months. In addition, these companies will withdraw cases filed in various courts against the government.
Experts say that billions of rupees are being collected from the public every month in the wake of gas infrastructure development cess in the Sui gas bills and in this regard, the government has to waive this amount to certain companies without making the public trust. But that’s not legal. ‘
What is the Gas Infrastructure Development System?
During the rule of the former PPP, a gas tax was levied in the name of GIDC on gas bills for construction of pipelines under Iran gas pipeline and other schemes in 2011 and was included in the financial bill. Was approved by her parliament.
The decision was challenged in the Supreme Court, and the court dismissed the government’s move and ordered that it be enforced separately through the Act of Parliament.
It should be noted that in 2014, rejecting the Federal Government’s appeal against the decision of the Peshawar High Court regarding the GIDC, the Supreme Court ordered the Peshawar High Court to consider the GIDC. Look at each case and decide.
It is to be noted that various power companies had filed petitions to withdraw the money deposited in the state treasury, on which a number of petitions were asked by the government to return the money submitted to the GIDC.
How different the current government’s deal was with the previous governments
Observers say the current government’s remission of half of the amount owed by different companies is not different from past governments.
Khaliq Kayani, a journalist who monitors the country’s economy, says that after the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz was made an Act of Parliament, he was in talks with officials of various companies, who were responsible for billions of rupees. After receiving more than 200 billion rupees I was deposited in the public treasury.
Khaliq Kayani said that the leadership of the Pakistan Muslim League had signed an agreement with the CNG sector in the last period of his government. The sector had a debt of Rs 24 billion, half of which was waived and Rs 12 billion was deposited in the state exchequer.
Journalist Mushtaq Ghuman says, “The only difference is that the past government brought this matter to Parliament while the present government hid in the darkness of the night by a presidential ordinance and waived half of the amount owed to these companies.” Gave. ‘
Mushtaq Ghumman said, “If the media did not highlight the matter, then no one would have known about the government’s move.”
He said that only a few members of the government, after talking to the representatives of these companies, gave all the good reports to the Prime Minister, that in this case, the presidential ordinance should forgive half of the amount owed to these companies.
Federal Minister for Energy Omar Ayoub dismissed the impression that the move was hurried by the government.
Talking to the media, he said that the process of negotiating with these companies was started in the days of former Finance Minister Asad Omar.
Omar Ayub said that these companies were receiving money from the people in favor of gas infrastructure development cess due to the injunction from various companies by the high courts, but the money was not being deposited in the state exchequer.
Omar Ayub claims that transparent action has been taken on this and that on the direction of the Prime Minister, forensic audit of the companies to which half of the amount owed should be waived and the Presidential Ordinance amended.
Journalist Khaliq Kayani says the federal government should approach the Supreme Court instead of waiving half of the billions of rupees paid by various companies through the Presidential Ordinance, and request the court to file the cases filed by these companies. They should be decided as soon as possible.
He said that if the government should approach the Supreme Court and take the stand that billions of rupees are owed to these companies which are not being deposited in the state exchequer, then there is no reason why the courts will get orders from these companies. Don’t make hasty decisions about contraception.
Khaliq Kayani said, “The federal government announced an amnesty scheme to bring people into the tax net and collected Rs 70 billion in this regard while on the other hand more than 200 billion rupees in a few seconds to forgive certain companies.” Attempted. ‘