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.

Copyright APP (Associated Press of Pakistan), 2019