The All Pakistan CNG Association (APCNGA) questioned legal status of the Gas Infrastructure Development Cess (GIDC) imposed by the government on gas consuming sectors.
The government has been collecting billions as GIDC from CNG and other gas consuming sectors citing to finance the construction of Pak-Iran gas pipeline while on the other hand top government functionaries had frequently said that the project was difficult to implement due to international pressure, it said.
Ghiyas Abdullah Paracha, Chairman Supreme Council APCNGA said, how could the government collect billion of rupees from commercial sectors to support a stalled project without considering that GIDC had increased cost of doing business and triggered inflation.
He said all the gas consuming sectors were paying Rs 100 as GIDC for consuming one million British Thermal Units (MMBTU) while the CNG sector was paying Rs 200 for the same which was discrimination.
He said the government hiked GIDC to Rs 300 per mmbtu in the federal budget on all the sectors except domestic sector which was reversed to Rs 100 and Rs 150 after the strong opposition by the business community.
However, the CNG sector was discriminated again as they were being forced to pay Rs 300 on consumption of one mmbtu which will have an impact on prices of the commodity, said Ghiyas Paracha.
The government should provide natural gas as well as enabling environment to the CNG sector if it wants to collect taxes as owners of the closed outlets will not be able to pay taxes.