Industries should be given tax-free gas, SC suggests
ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Monday adjourned the hearing of Gas Infrastructure Development Cess (GIDC) case till Tuesday.
A three-member bench of the apex court, headed by Justice Mushir Alam and comprising Justice Faisal Arab and Justice Mansoor Ali Shah, heard the case.
During the course of proceedings, Advocate Makhdoom Ali Khan, counsel for a private company, continued arguments from SC Karachi Registry through video link and stated that the government imposed GIDC for completion of different gas projects.
He said that the purpose for which money was collected was not used for that purpose.
He said that the Peshawar High Court in its decision declared that the cess would benefit the nation. The cess money was to be spent on only three projects, he added.
He said that the government had collected Rs 295 billion in this regard. He said that Pak-Iran gas pipeline project had been stopped due to sanctions and Pakistan had already paid its share on the TAPI project.
He said that the government had spent only Rs 487 million from Rs 295 billion.
He said that the government did not spend a single penny on the LNG from Cess fund. Two private companies set up terminals for LNG, he added.
He said that the Peshawar High Court did not consider the facts. He said that the PHC in its decision had stated that only the federal and its units could challenge the Act.
Justice Mansoor Ali Shah asked could the Pakistan not start its own beneficial project despite the sanctions? Sugar mills were also charged for the construction of roads, he added.
Justice Faisal Arab asked the counsel to inform the court that whether it was a tax or cess. Advocate Makhdoom Ali Khan said that in his view this was not a tax. Justice Faisal Arab said that agriculture and other industries should be provided tax-free gas.
He asked did the industry not want gas. He asked why LNG was not being considered in this cess as LNG was being transported through ships and terminals had been established in this regard. – APP