The government after announcing a waiver of 50% of Gas Infrastructure Development Charges (GIDC) on Monday had to reverse that decision by Wednesday due to criticism from the public, opposition and from within PTI’s ranks. The government decided to waive off more than half of the Rs417 billion GIDC arrears to be collected from different industrial sectors and collect only Rs210 billion in the future. The government’s narrative was that the Rs417 billion payment was uncertain due to different stay orders and ongoing cases in courts and this decision would assure a stable stream of Rs210 billion future revenue for the government.
However, after the growing criticism, the government was forced to reverse it’s decision. The PM further requested the Supreme Court to hear the GIDC cases on urgent basis and also directed the attorney general to move an application for an urgent hearing in the Supreme Court, to resolve the matter at the soonest.
The financial team of the PM, namely, Finance minister Dr Abdul Hafeez Sheikh, Minister of Commerce Abdul Razzak Dawood, Federal Minister Khusro Bakhtiar, Omar Ayub Khan, Minister for Economic Affairs Division Mr. Hmmad Azahar and PM’s special assistant on petroleum Nadeem Babar, held a joint press conference regarding the matter and said that on the directives on the PM, the matter has now been forwarded to the Supreme Court. The members also highlighted a point that the decisions of the courts are a risky matter, and the decision can go on either side, the government can either gain everything or lose everything. Dr. Abdul Hafeez Sheikh added that the attorney general would now request the Supreme Court to recall all the cases related to GIDC issue from different lower level courts, club them all together and conduct an early hearing on the subject and give a decision on the issue to end this matter.