ISLAMABAD - The Senate Special Committee on Gas Infrastructure Development Cess (GIDC) on Thursday failed to approve the bill due to eruption of serious differences among the members of the committee and unsatisfactory response from the ministry of Petroleum. The meeting of the Senate Special Committee on GIDC was held here under the Chairmanship of Senator Iqbal Zafar Jhagra. Briefing the committee on GIDC the Federal Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said that to approve the Bill Anomaly Committee was not needed as Captive Power Plants (CPPs) and industry were two different gas consumers and therefore both should be treated separately.

Senator Mohsan Aziz asked the government to reduce GIDC rate for captive power plants and said that the government must treat general industry and CPPs separately.

Replying Mohsin Aziz’s concerns, the Minister said, that the ministry of petroleum has no authority to reduce GIDC. The Federal Minister for Finance is the right person to reduce GIDC rate for Captive Power plants, he added.

Abbasi said that the government has made four categories for GIDC collection they are: Consumers paid GIDC, those neither paid nor collected GIDC, Collected and paid GIDC, and Collected but not paid GIDC. Abbasi informed the committee that ten thousand industrial units have to pay an outstanding amount of Rs 40 billion on account of GDIC.

Former Finance Minister Saleem Mandviwal said that the government in previous four years made several attempts to impose GIDC, but due to court cases it was delayed. He asked the government to resolve the issue as early as possible.

Senator Usman Saifullah suggested the government to payback the amount collected on account of GIDC to all those consumers which earlier had paid and GIDC should be imposed from 21 May, 2015. He said that gas producing provinces of Sindh, Balochistan and Khyber Pukhtunkhwa were hit hard by the imposition of GIDC as they were being taxed multiple times-paying taxes on the power consumption and also on gas consumption so this is a form of double taxation and it should not be imposed.

“GIDC is a new tax on industries and will increase the prices of the commodities” he said and added that now besides income tax, industrialist will also pay GIDC which is total injustice. “It is better to nationalise the industries” Usman maintained.