ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan, in the interest of transparency and good governance, on Wednesday decided to withdraw the Gas Infrastructure Development Cess (GIDC) Ordinance.
According to a statement of the Prime Minister's Office, he further directed the Attorney General for Pakistan to move an application for urgent hearing in the Supreme Court, so that the matter is decided at the earliest, strictly in accordance with the law and the Constitution.
The prime minister took the decision in view of the recent controversy.
The statement further said the total amount, stuck in the GIDC litigation from January 2012 till Dec 2018, was about Rs. 417 billion.
In the first round of litigation, the Supreme Court had annulled the GIDC statute whereas the federal government's review petition was also dismissed by the Supreme Court.
Thereafter fresh legislations were brought about, which were presently under challenge before the provincial high courts and a set of appeals was also pending in the Supreme Court.
In the above backdrop, an Ordinance was issued with a view to recover fifty percent of the stuck revenue by way of an out of court settlement after consultation with the industry.
“However, the Prime Minister wishes to inform the nation that going to the court carries a risk because the decision could go either way. This means that the government could get the whole amount or could lose it all and possibly forgo any prospect of future revenue collections under this head," it added.
Also on top of this, the government could be saddled with the burden of administering refunds of approximately Rs. 295 billion of the principal amount, it added.