Petroleum Ministry allowed to prepare draft to settle GIDC issues

Staff Reporter

Islamabad

Senate Special Committee to monitor the implementation of Gas Infrastructure Development Cess (GIDC) Bill-2015 Wednesday allowed Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources to prepare a draft mechanism to settle down the GIDC collection and payment issues. Petroleum Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi suggested the committee meeting, chaired by Ilyas Ahmad Bilour, that the ministry could provide a draft mechanism to determine that which entities had collected the GIDC from their consumers but did not deposit in the national kitty.
The formula would also categorize and identify the entities, consuming natural gas for commercial purpose, who had collected the GIDC and accordingly paid and those who even did not charge but paid to the government. Khaqan Abbasi said an internal committee of the ministry would draft the formula and submit before the Special Committee for further consideration, adding, the parliamentarians would have the prerogative to accept or reject or made amendment in it, if required.
Chairman Ilyas Ahmad Bilour asked the minister to share the draft with the committee members prior to submitting before the body on January 31. The petroleum minister said the government was in negotiation with Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) sector to settle outstanding amount on account of GIDC.
“But, the government can not waive of any tax on its own as any settlement regarding recovery of outstanding GIDC, can only be made in the Parliament in a constitutional manner,” he apprised the committee. He said 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, adding, around Rs 40 billion including the LPS (Late Payment Surcharge) were pending against the CNG sector.
Representatives of All Pakistan CNG Association (APCNGA), led by Ghiyas Abdullah Paracha, apprised the body that they held meetings with officials of the ministries of petroleum and finance, and offered to pay Rs 9 billion to settle the GIDC payment issue. But, they claimed, the government side first asked to pay Rs 16 billion and later Rs 13 billion and “We offered to pay Rs 10 billion” as the settlement amount.
Petroleum ministry’s officials set aside the claim of the APCNGA representatives. Senator Talha Mehmood said there should be no settlement with those who had collected the GIDC but did not pay to the government.
Talha revealed that he had confirmed reports that the CNG association had collected Rs 200,000 to Rs 400,000 from their each member for illicit use in settlement of the outstanding amount.

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