Senate body to hold in-camera discussion on GIDC issues



The Senate’s Special Committee on Tuesday decided to hold an in-camera discussion with the members on issues related to Gas Infrastructure Development Cess (GIDC), especially the settlement of CNG sector dues.

The committee meeting, which met here to discuss Report on Implementation of Gas Infrastructure Development Cess Bill-2015, was chaired by Ilyas Ahmad Bilour.

The body observed that it hold a closed-door meeting on February 6 to look into the settlement amounts offered by both the government and Compress Natural Gas (CNG) sector.

The chairman observed that the committee had asked the representatives of CNG association to hold meetings with concerned officials of the Ministries of finance, petroleum and natural resources to reach an amicable settlement point, but the sittings remained inconclusive.

Now, he said, the committee would give its recommendations after holding a thorough debate with its members.

The CNG stations had collected the GIDC as per notified tariff of Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) but did not pay to the government.

Around Rs 40 billion including the LPS (Late Payment Surcharge) were pending against the CNG sector.

The petroleum ministry was of the view that it could not waive off any tax on its own as any settlement regarding recovery of outstanding GIDC and it could only be made in the parliament in a constitutional manner.

The body, in its previous meetings, had discussed that the bill should be treated sector wise and noted that all sectors were ready to pay but not retrospectively.

While the ministry took the stance that the GIDC Act 2015 as passed by the parliament provided that the cess collected by the company from gas consumers under the GIDC Act 2011 and GIDC Ordinance 2014 would be valid under the provisions of the GIDC Act 2015. “Therefore, the question of not paying the cess retrospectively does not arise.”

Among others, the meeting was attended by Senators Professor Sajid Mir, Mohsin Aziz, Saeed Ghani, Muhammad Usman Khan Kakar and Muhammad Mohsin Khan Leghari, Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, secretary Petroleum and senior officials of the ministries of petroleum, finance, and OGRA.