PESHAWAR  - Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf Senator Mohsin Aziz has termed the re-imposition of Gas Infrastructure Development Cess (GIDC), through an ordinance, was tantamount to negate constitutional rights of smaller provinces, particularly terrorism-affected Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Since the province is producing natural gas in a huge quantity, it has legitimate right to take first benefit from this natural resource, Senator Mohsin said this while talking to the officials of Customs Department here on Sunday.

He also said that a major chunk of GIDC would be spent on LNG and Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India (TAPI) gas-pipeline project, which could only benefit Punjab. He said the gas production in Punjab is next to nil, and its consumption of natural gas is double as compared to other provinces.

He said the federal government move would further bring economic and industrial stagnation and slow-down businesses in terrorism-hit Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

Aziz, who is also vice chairman of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Board of Investment and Trade, said that the bill on GIDC was passed in haste. The bill should be discussed at the Council of Common Interest (CCI) forum, before the president's approva.  

The PTI leader said that it is an inimical gesture by the federal government and forced injustice to the progress of KP which is already under-developed. He said that the GIDC was earlier levied in 2011 by the federal government by enacting the GIDC Act 2011 to develop different projects, including the Iran Pakistan (IP) Gas Pipelines Project, Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) Pipelines Project, LNG Import Project and LPG Supply Enhancement Projects.

He informed the Peshawar High Court (PHC) on June 13, 2013, had declared the GIDC unconstitutional and the judgment was also upheld by the Supreme Court on August 22, 2014.  However, he said the government is recovering the GIDC under the new ordinance.