ISLAMABAD - The government on Wednesday withdrawn the ordinance aimed at recovering 50 percent of the stuck revenue in Gas Infrastructure Development Cess (GIDC).

According to a statement issued by the Prime Minister’s Office, the ordinance was issued with a view to recover 50 percent of the stuck revenue by way of an out-of-court settlement after consultation with the industry.

However, in view of the recent controversy, the Prime Minister, in the interest of transparency and good governance, has decided to withdraw the said ordinance.

The Prime Minister directed the Attorney General to move an application for urgent hearing in the Supreme Court so that the matter is decided at the earliest, strictly in accordance with the law and the Constitution.

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.

This means that the government could get the whole amount or could lose it all and possibly forgo any prospect 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 295 billion rupees of the principal amount.

The total amount stuck in the GIDC litigation from January 2012 till December last year is about 417 billion rupees.

In the first round of litigation, the Supreme Court annulled the GIDC statute.

The Federal Government’s Review Petition was also dismissed by the Supreme Court.

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.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Imran Khan has directed to prepare a timeline based strategy to further ease the process for investors and investment in the energy sector.

Chairing a briefing on creating easements, resolving people’s problems, and simplifying the process and procedure for investment in the energy sector, the Prime Minister was briefed that now focus is being made on the mode of transmission and distribution of power.

It was told that eighty per cent of feeders, across Pakistan, have been made theft and loss free, improving uninterrupted power supply to all sectors.

The meeting was informed that target for the transmission of 23,000 megawatt of electricity was achieved for the first time in country’s history.

The meeting was informed that common people are allowed to purchase transformers from approved companies without seeking any No Objection Certificate to solve their problems at the earliest.

The meeting was informed that a pilot project has been started by Lahore Electric Supply Company (LESCO) to further ease the process for new electricity connection.

It was told that incidents of power failures in LESCO have been reduced to 108 this year from 1379 last year.

The Prime Minister appreciated the measures taken by the Energy Ministry to bring improvements in the power sector.