Islamabad: Minister for Finance and Revenue Ishaq Dar on Monday directed officials to compile an updated sector-wise breakup of a massive Rs 447 billion in outstanding dues under the Gas Infrastructure Development Cess (GIDC) in a bid to fast track recoveries by the government.
Dar, who chaired a meeting at the Finance Division on pending GIDC dues, expressed concern at the delay in collecting the outstanding amount. Once the breakup is presented, the meeting will formulate a strategy to ensure the swift recovery of the amount, much of which is locked up in courts.
The GIDC was a special cess – or tax – introduced on commercial gas users by the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) government back in 2011 with the goal of using the funds of developing the gas infrastructure in Pakistan, which is sorely in need of uplifting. The tax however, fell into legal trouble over the years, locking up the dues.
The cash-strapped government wants to find ways to recover this amount as soon as possible. Most of the dues are of the fertiliser sector, according to figures shared recently in the Senate.
Monday’s meeting was attended by top officials of the finance and petroleum sectors, including Minister of State for Petroleum Musadik Malik, Special Advisor to the Prime Minister on Finance, Tariq Bajwa Secretary Finance, as well as the Managing Director of the Oil and Gas Development Company (OGDC), representatives of Sui Northern, Sui Southern, Pakistan Petroleum Limited.
The meeting was told that there are some 3,194 petitions in various courts of law pertaining to the GIDC.
Examining the court decisions and stay orders, Dar expressed serious concerns over non-recoveries and expressed resolve of the government to recover each penny from the defaulters.