ISLAMABAD -  The Ministry of Finance has ruled out to waive off the entire outstanding amount of the GIDC owed by All Pakistan CNG Association (APCNGA), however it said that adjustments are possible.

“CNG sector owes Rs42 billion in terms of Gas Infrastructure Development Cess (GIDC),” Director General Gas Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources told media after the meeting of Senate Standing Committee on Petroleum.

Director General Gas said that in a number of meetings with APCNGA, the Ministry offered them to pay Rs 28 billion but the association said that this amount is not justified and they can pay Rs 16 billion.

Earlier, a meeting of the Senate Special Committee, which was held to monitor the implementation of the Gas Infrastructure Development Cess (GIDC) Bill-2015, directed all the stakeholders to come with a viable plan so that the matter can be settled as early as possible.

The committee meeting, chaired by Ilyas Ahmed Bilour, while expressing disappointment over the absence of Petroleum Minister and Secretary Petroleum, said that neither the Ministry of Finance considered recommendations made by the committee nor Petroleum Ministry came out with a viable solution to the matter.

The committee had recommended that the bill should be treated sector-wise and noted that all sectors were ready to pay outstanding amount of GIDC but not retrospectively.

Secretary Ministry of Finance Waqar Masood said that the Ministry was ready to accept justified demands of the All Pakistan CNG Association (APCNGA), adding that the entire outstanding amount of the GIDC could not be waived off.

Masood assured the committee that Finance Ministry along with APCNGA and Petroleum Ministry will look into the entire matter and bring consensus recommendations to the committee members within short possible period.

According to senior leader of APCNGA, Ghiyas Abdullah Paracha, the CNG body, on the directions of the committee, hired the services of the charted accountant to calculate exact amount of the outstanding GIDC but the Ministry of Finance is not agreeing with the their calculations.

Additional Secretary of the Ministry Furqan Bahadur Khan, while briefing the committee, said that the GIDC Act 2015 as passed by the parliament provided that the cess received by the CNG station owners from gas consumers under the GIDC Act 2011 and GIDC Ordinance 2014 is still valid under the provisions of the GIDC Act 2015. “Therefore, the question of not paying the xess retrospectively does not arise, however the ministry was ready to discuss the issue with APCNGA and ready to accept the justified demands of the CNG body,” Khan added.

Convener Ilyas Ahmed Bilour was of the view that commitments made on floor of the House by Ministers, with regard to incorporating suggestions of the committee in the bill, must be fulfilled.

Among others, the meeting was attended by Lt Gen (Retd.) Abdul Qayyum, Professor Sajid Mir, Mohsin Aziz, Hilal ur Rehman, Saeedul Hassan Mandokhel and Mohammad Mohsin Khan Leghari.