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Supreme Court issues detailed verdict of GIDC case

  • Justice Faisal Arab of the Supreme Court wrote a detailed decision of 78 pages. The decision was written by a majority of 2-1.
13 Aug 2020

The Supreme Court (SC) has issued a detailed verdict in the Gas Infrastructure Development Cess (GIDC) case.

The Supreme Court of Pakistan on Thursday issued its verdict in the GIDC case and ordered the companies to pay Rs417 billion while rejecting their appeals. Justice Faisal Arab of the Supreme Court wrote a detailed decision of 78 pages. The decision was written by a majority of 2-1.

The decision said that the purpose of the GIDC Act 2015 was to facilitate the import of gas, in accordance with the levy constitution enacted under the GIDC. The Supreme Court in its judgment has restrained the government from imposing further cess till the arrears are recovered.

The decision of the apex court said that OGRA could not take into account the cess while determining the price of gas for the year 2020-21.

The Supreme Court in its judgment has ordered that the amount due from all the companies till August 31, 2020, be collected in 24 installments.

The Supreme Court has directed the government to start work on the North-South pipeline project in six months. The Supreme Court has also directed the government to start work on the TAPI project as soon as it reaches the Pakistani border.

On the other hand, Justice Mansoor Ali Shah has written a dissenting note in the verdict which consists of 30 pages.

Justice Mansoor Ali Shah wrote in the dissenting note that the government ordinance is unconstitutional and illegal. GIDC is a fee, not a tax.

If the government does not legislate on GIDC within 6 months, the money should be returned to the companies. The gap between natural gas supplied and demand needs to be filled.