The Supreme Court Monday issued notices to 63 respondents, including Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) and Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL), in response to a federation’s review petition against the apex court’s verdict that had declared Gas Infrastructure Development Cess (GIDC) as a fee.
On 22 August 2014, a three-member bench of Chief Justice Nasirul Mulk declared that the GIDC is a fee and not a tax, saying, “The cess could not have been introduced through a Money Bill under Article 73 of the Constitution – the same was, therefore, not validly levied in accordance with the Constitution”.
The bench had termed the GIDC illegal and ordered the federal government to refund the amount collected on account of the cess to consumers fully or through adjustment in their gas bills. On Monday, a three-member bench led by Chief Justice Nasirul Mulk took up the review petition filed by the Federation of Pakistan through the Secretary Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Resources.
Appearing before the bench, Attorney General for Pakistan (AGP) Salman Aslam Butt prayed before the court to review its earlier order in the current matter, arguing that the government imposed the GIDC for gas infrastructure development. He pleaded that the apex court’s verdict had adversely affected the development projects as the incumbent government was facing difficulties in carrying out projects and that it had to abandon uplift activities in the gas sector. After hearing the arguments of the AGP, the bench issued notices to all the respondents and adjourned the hearing of case for an indefinite period.
SOURCE: RECORDER REPORT