KARACHI: The trade and industry has vehemently announced to sriously resist imposition of any kind of Gas Infrastructure Develeopment Cess (GIDC). The President, Lasbela Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), Yakoob H Karim said in a statement that if the GIDC imposed on the pretext of so-called Pak-Iran Gas Pipeline, the enire industy would call it a day, resulting in shut down of local business and all the exports shipments too would come to a halt. While terming the GIDC as totally unfair and against the all norms of ethics warned that the entire business and industrial community of the country will widely denounce and resist any attempt to pass the controversial Gas Infrastructure Development Cess (GIDC) Bill 2015 during the National Assembly session scheduled on Monday.
Yakoob said that the then government had passed GIDC in the Finance Bill 2011 which was challenged in various courts whereas all chambers across the country also rejected the revision of GIDC last year yet the government promulgated an ordinance on 25th September 2014 with the objective of over-riding the stay granted by high courts.
Despite such eagerness, the government was unable to collect any GIDC after the ordinance was promulgated as petitions were filed, challenging the ordinance, Iftikhar Vohra noted, adding that as the extension of GIDC Cess was about to expire on May 22, 2015, the government probably plans to re-promulgate this unjust Ordinance. KCCI President stated that the entire business and industrial community will continue to protest against the unjust GIDC until the government announces its complete withdrawal. Terming GIDC as an ‘anti-business initiative’, he said that such policies will lead to unemployment and drastically reduce export earnings of Pakistan.
The government should refrain from taking such harsh steps which would surely raise the cost of doing business, overburden the taxpayers and may also become the cause for complete shutdown of many industrial units particularly the value-added and export-oriented industries. Instead of taking such punitive steps, the government must focus on facilitating the business and industrial community which will automatically generate more tax revenue, create more jobs and enhance exports, he advised.
He said that LCCI would be supporting all actions taken by KCCI and other trade bodies against the proposed GIDC. He said that LCCI strongly believes that re-promulgation of Gas Infrastructure Development Cess would make the business community uncompetitive in the region and result in flight of capital therefore it should not be considered and completely withdrawn during the forthcoming session of National Assembly.