KARACHI: Litigation against the collection of the Gas Infrastructure Development Cess (GIDC) continues to pile up, with some concerns obtaining stay orders from various high courts on technical grounds.
An order issued by the Sind High Court on Tuesday restrained the government from collecting any arrears on the GIDC from a select group of companies that have filed a suit arguing these are not liable on them as per previous court judgments.
“Till the next date of hearing,” that order reads, “the Defendants are restrained from taking any coercive action against the Plaintiff for non-payment of Bill issued to the Plaintiff showing arrears....including disconnection of gas.”
In another order issued by the Lahore High Court on Monday on two separate challenges filed by the All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (Aptma), granted both pleas brought forward by the petitioners.
First was over the distinction between gas used for industrial purposes versus that used for captive power for GIDC billing purposes, and the second was to first account for all GIDC payments made prior to 2015.
The LHC allowed the dispensation sought in the second matter and suspended payment of GIDC in the first. “However, for the difference in the amount as required to be paid by the industrial consumer and the captive power consumer, postdated cheque shall be furnished by the petitioners to the satisfaction of the respondents,” the order states.
“In respect of the amount relating to payment of GIDC on actual calculation prior to 2015, same shall be determined on the next date of hearing,” the order states and directs SNGPL to generate a revised bill within three days.
Eleven other textile concerns had filed an identical petition to the one brought by Aptma in the LHC and obtained the same order on Monday as well.
Central Chairman Aptma Amanullah Kasim said 100 Aptma members, 200 other textile related mills like garments, weaving, textile processing, value added, denim, towel, hosiery and knitwear and some 100 manufacturers of general items all over the country have filed review petition against collection of GIDC.
“We have hired four lawyers to fight our case of GIDC,” he added.
All Pakistan CNG Association Ghayas Paracha said that 750 CNG station owners in all the four provinces have filed review petitions in the Supreme Court on Sept 12 against GIDC.
Around 237 members in Islamabad and around 411 members in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa have approached the Islamabad High Court and Peshawar High Court to stop recovering bills from the station owners till the gas companies do not make corrections in gas bills.
Published in Dawn, September 18th, 2020