ISLAMABAD: The Senate Standing Committee on Finance concluded budget meetings on Tuesday and will forward its recommendations to the upper house of parliament today.

The committee supported the imposition of the Gas Infrastructure Develop­ment Cess (GIDC) on the CNG sector. Presenting the counter-argument, CNG industry representative Ghayas Paracha told the committee the GIDC was unjustified and burdened the consumers. The industry will have a serious financial impact if the pending amount is cleared in one go, he said.

However, he added that the CNG sector could make a 30 per cent upfront payment. The Ministry of Finance and the CNG sector acknowledged that the outstanding GIDC amount for 2011-15 was Rs12bn.

The Ministry of Finance had demanded a 60pc upfront payment out of the total outstanding liabilities of around Rs7.2bn by June 30 while the remaining 40pc could be in instalments.

There are about 3,000 members of different CNG associations, a ministry official said, adding that they can easily collect Rs7bn in one go. He said the government provided the CNG sector with maximum relief and no further incentives could be offered now.

The committee decided that the upfront amount should be fixed at Rs4bn, which the CNG association should pay within the ongoing month, while the remaining instalments should be finalised in the next fiscal year.

It was also decided that CNG stations owners would provide guarantees that they would withdraw court cases.

The Senate committee also discussed zero per cent duty for the import of raw materials for the plastic industry. MNA Qaiser Ahmed Sheikh, who is also chairman of the National Assembly Standing Commit­tee on Finance, presented the case of the plastic industry.

Mr Sheikh said many manufacturing units were importing raw material for plastic and selling the surplus in the market. The misuse of the concessionary regime was on the rise, he said.

An official of the Federal Board of Revenue said the duty structure for plastic’s raw material has been reduced for commercial importers to match that for the industrial importers.

Published in Dawn, June 7th, 2017

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