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PM withdraws GIDC ordinance, directs AG to approach apex court

ISLAMABAD: In the view of recent controversy, Prime Minister Imran Khan has decided to withdraw the ordinance which allowed to waive off Rs210 billions of Gas Infrastructure Development Cess (GIDC).

The statement issued by the PM Office on Wednesday 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.”

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.”

Read More: ‘No free lunch offered’: Minister says GIDC waiver in line with govt policy, PM’s vision

The PM office noted that the total amount in the GIDC litigation from January 2012 till December 2018 is nearly Rs417 billion, and the apex court annulled the GIDC statute during the first round of litigation. The federal government’s review petition was also rejected by the SC in this regard.

“Thereafter, fresh legislations were brought about, which are presently under challenge before the Provincial High Courts and a set of appeals is also pending in the Supreme Court.”

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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