ISLAMABAD - Senate Standing Committee on Petroleum Thursday approved "Gas Infrastructure Development Cess (Amendment) Bill, 2018" with certain amendments which will enable the CNG stations to pay half (Rs 12 billion) of the GIDC outstanding amount to the government.

The meeting of the committee was held here under the chairmanship of Senator Mohsin Aziz. Mohsin said that the committee would deal with petroleum related issues of less developed areas in Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on priority basis.

He informed the members about the background of the GIDC Amendment Bill and the committee approved the Bill with certain amendments.

The committee was informed that 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.

However now the petroleum division has informed the committee that the CNG association has agreed to pay approximately half of the amount payable pertaining to the period from January 1 to May 22, 2015 amounting Rs 12 billion.

Now the CNG station will pay GIDC through SNGPL or SSGCL.

If approved by the parliament the amendment will provide a relief of Rs 7 billion to the CNG owners and instead of the outstanding amount of Rs 19 billion they will pay only Rs 12 billion to the government.

It is pertinent to mention here that the Ministry of Petroleum had told a Senate Special Committee on Petroleum that the CNG sector had collected around Rs 42 billion from their consumers and deposited only Rs 13 billion.

The amount of Rs 29 billion along with the Late Payment Surcharge (LPS) of Rs 11 billion were still outstanding against the CNG sector.

Representatives of All Pakistan CNG Association (APCNGA) informed the committee 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.

The government side first asked to pay Rs 16 billion and later Rs 13 billion and the CNG sector offered to pay Rs 10 billion as the settlement amount, the APCNGA representative claimed.

The committee was attended was attended by Senators Shamim Afridi, Fida Muhammad Khan, Mir Kabeer Ahmed Muhammad Shahi, Dr Jahanzeb Jamaldini and Bahramand.