Reimposition of GIDC: Industrialists call for urgent withdrawal
Local industrialists in a meeting at Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry strongly resented the re-imposition of Gas Infrastructure Development Cess (GIDC) through an Ordinance as it would put negative impact on the country's economy and called upon the government to immediately withdraw GIDC to save the business and industry from its harmful consequences.
Copyright News Network International, 2014
Addressing the meeting, Muzammil Hussain Sabri, President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry said that Peshawar & Sindh High Courts had already issued judgements against the imposition of GIDC while the Supreme Court of Pakistan had also refused to give legal cover to GIDC and now Lahore High Court have issued a stay order against GIDC Ordinance 2014.
He said after these decisions, there was no legal justification to re-impose this tax through an Ordinance. He said the main purpose of levying GIDC was to mobilise funds for the development of gas infrastructure for Iran-Pakistan (IP) and Turkmenistan Afghanistan Pakistan India (TAPI) Pipeline projects. However, the government has so far failed to start any work for the development of gas infrastructure for said projects and it should immediately withdraw GIDC as collection of tax without undertaking any work on planned projects was unjustified.
Muzammil Sabri said the government had set a tax collection target of Rs 145b through GIDC during this fiscal year while it has collected about Rs 84 billion from consumers under this tax since 2011. He stressed that after the High and Supreme Court's decision, government should refund the whole collected amount to the consumers. He said the re-imposition of GIDC was bound to dampen the growth of various sectors like industry, exports and agriculture as it would enhance the cost of production and make our products uncompetitive in international market.
He said instead of taking anti-business measures, government should facilitate the growth of business and industry that would automatically boost manufacturing activities, generate more tax revenue, create new jobs and increase country's exports. He was of the view that the net effect of GIDC re-imposition would be harmful for the economy; therefore, government should reconsider its decision and withdraw this tax without further delay to save the country from its damaging consequences.