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Govt moves SC over GIDC ordinance, seeks early hearing of related cases

ISLAMABAD: The federal government has moved to the Supreme Court (SC) over Gas Infrastructure Development Cess ordinance and sought early hearing of the GIDC-related cases, ARY News reported on Friday.

Following the directives of the Prime Minister Imran Khan, Attorney General (AG) filed a petition at the top court’s registrar office which sought immediate hearing of the GIDC-related cases.

The petition stated that the cases related to the Gas Infrastructure Development Cess are pending since 2017 while the delay is causing problems to retrieve revenue belonging to the federal government.

The Supreme Court has been pleaded to approve the petition for an immediate hearing regarding the GIDC-related cases.

Read More: PM takes notice of Rs208 billion write-offs, seeks explanation

It is noteworthy to mention here that Prime Minister Imran Khan had decided to withdraw the ordinance on September 4 in view of the recent controversy that allowed to waive off Rs210 billions of Gas Infrastructure Development Cess (GIDC).

The statement issued by the PM Office on Wednesday had said, “The prime minister, in the interest of transparency and good governance, has decided to withdraw the said Ordinance and direct the Attorney General to move an application for an urgent hearing in the Supreme Court.”

However, the statement added that “the prime minister wishes to inform the nation that going to the court carries a risk because the decision could go either way.”

Read More: Referring GIDC debacle to SC, right call: Omar Ayub Khan

It elucidated that the government could get the whole amount or could lose it all, and possibly forgo any prospects of future revenue collections under this head.

“Also on top of this, the government could be saddled with the burden of administering refunds of approximately Rs295 billion of the principal amount.”

The government faced criticism in recent days for granting major discount on around Rs 420bn GIDC, payable by fertiliser plants, power plants, general industry and the CNG sector. It extended Rs 210 billion waver to the gas sector businesses under the GIDC ordinance.

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