Rs 258 bln collected on account of GIDC till June: Senate body informed

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ISLAMABAD, July 27 (APP): Minister for Petroleum and Natural
Resources Shahid Khaqan Abbasi Thursday informed the Senate Standing
Committee on Finance that the government had collected Rs 258 billion on
account of Gas Infrastructure Development Cess (GIDC) till June 2017.
“While an amount of Rs 122 billion was collected before
implementation of the GIDC act,” he said.
The committee meeting, chaired by Saleem Mandviwala, was also
apprised that all the collected amount had been deposited in the national
exchequer.
The Minister said the government had given a sovereign guarantee of
Rs one billion for Regassified Liquefied Natural Gas (RLNG) pipeline-I, while it provided Rs 175 billion for RLNG-III pipeline.
Senator Moshin Aziz said that all these funds were being spent in
Punjab, ignoring other provinces including Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Sindh.
Abbasi said the government was developing two more LNG terminals
and it had given a guarantee of Rs 336 billion for Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India (TAPI) gas pipeline project.
He said gas flow from the TAPI gas pipeline was expected to start in
2020 and Pakistan would only pay for the gas consumed, while India would
pay royalty to Pakistan.
Commenting on Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline project, the minister said
there were still some international restriction on Iran, which was causing
delay in start of the much-awaited project.
Replying to a query of Mohsin Aziz, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said that
Pakistan was facing severe energy crisis and its only instant solution was the import of LNG.
The members also reviewed the sub-committee report on GIDC.
Senator Ilyas Bilour said the Minister for Petroleum had assured in
the Senate that the sub-committee’s report would be implemented in letter
and spirit.
He said the Sub-Committee had decided to collect Rs 12 billion GIDC
from the CNG sector, but after a lapse of one and half years it could not be
implemented.
The Minister replied that the government was working on to
implement recommendation of the sub-committee.
Representatives of Zarai Taraqiyati Bank Limited briefed the
committee that performance of the bank was improving gradually as it
achieved the 3-A status in a period of six months .
They said the bank did the business of Rs 460 million in 2017,
following which the State Bank of Pakistan also improved its ranking.
They said that million of people benefitted of the bank, adding that
the ratio of development loans had been increased..
Earlier, they said development loans were 14.8 per cant, and now its
limit was 1.5 million. They said 38,000 new farmers have taken loans from
the bank as it was providing them the facility at lowest interest rate.
The Additional Chairman Securities and Exchange Commission of
Pakistan (SECP) also briefed the committee.