Ordinance promulgated to collect Gas infrastructure development Cess

ISLAMABAD (NNI): President Mamnoon Hussain, on the advice of the Prime Minister, has signed Gas Infrastructure Development Cess Ordinance, 2014. The Ordinance comes into force with immediate effect.

The ordinance will enable the government to continue to collect the gas infrastructure development cess (GIDC) from the consumers after the Supreme Count has refused to give legal cover to cess collection, saying it is a fee not a tax and it cannot be levied through money bill.

The government has collected almost Rs 84 billion from consumers under the head of GIDC since 2011. The amount collected under GIDC is meant to be used on the gas lines and gas distribution infrastructure to be laid down in future particularly for the import of gas and LNG through the IP and TAPI.

Ministry of petroleum has also filed a review petition against the decision of Supreme Court that disallowed the government to collect GIDC from gas consumers. Secretary petroleum Abid Saeed said that government had decided to issue an ordinance to continue collection of GIDC from gas consumers. He said that if court dismissed the review petition, the approval of cess would be sought from Parliament through money bill.

Petroleum Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi earlier said that finance ministry had kept this money on under the head of GIDC and would be provided on cash call. He said a pipeline to transport LNG would be laid from Karachi to North at cost of Rs100 billion to enhance the pipeline capacity. Current system can transport 280 mmcfd LNG.

He said that SNGPL was facing 4 per cent gas theft that amounts to Rs10 billion and 2.5 per cent of it was in the area of Karak, KPK. “We have planned to launch Rs8 billion project on cost sharing basis with province of KPK to legalise gas connections in this area,” he said adding that KPK province had agreed to share cost but the plan was not implemented yet.

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