ISLAMABAD    -   The federal government moved the Supreme Court on Friday over Gas Infrastructure Development Cess (GIDC) Ordinance, and sought early hearing of the cases related to the ordinance.

Following the directives of Prime Minister Imran Khan, Attorney General (AG) filed the petition at the apex court’s registrar office.

The government argued in the petition that the GIDC-related cases were pending since 2017. It further said the delay was acting as a hurdle in the way of collecting the revenue belonging to the federal government.

The government pleaded to the SC to approve the petition for an immediate hearing of the GIDC-related cases.

It is worth mentioning here that Prime Minister Imran Khan had decided to withdraw the ordinance on September 4 in view of the controversy it generated.

The statement issued by the PM office on Wednesday had said, “The prime minister, in the interest of transparency and good governance, has decided to withdraw the said ordinance and directed the attorney general to move an application for an urgent hearing in the Supreme Court.”

However, the statement added that “the prime minister wishes to inform the nation that going to the court carries a risk because the decision could go either way.”

It elucidated that the government could get the whole amount or could lose it all, and possibly forgo any prospect of future revenue collections under this head.

“Also on top of this, the government could be saddled with the burden of administering refunds of approximately Rs295 billion of the principal amount.”

The government faced criticism soon after the promulgation of the ordinance for granting major discount on around Rs420 billion GIDC, payable by the fertilizer and power plants, general industry and the CNG sector.  The ordinance had extended Rs210 billion waver to the gas sector.