‘Bur­den­ing masses to fi­nance gas pro­ject il­le­gal’

The Pak Banker - - NATIONAL -

The Pak­istan Econ­omy Watch (PEW) on Sun­day said govern­ment's de­ci­sion to put ad­di­tional bur­den of Rs 110 bil­lion on masses to build gas pipe­lines is highly dis­crim­i­na­tory and il­le­gal.

Tril­lions have been col­lected un­der the head of Gas In­fra­struc­ture De­vel­op­ment Cess (GIDC) to fi­nance pipe­lines dur­ing the last six years while Rs 145 bil­lion are be­ing col­lected in the cur­rent year but govern­ment has de­cided to pun­ish masses tho­rugh dou­ble tax­a­tion to raise more money, it said.

Masses de­serves to know where the money col­lected un­der GIDC has gone as govern­ment has ad­mit­ted hav­ing only Rs 200 bil­lion un­der this head which is amaz­ing, said Dr. Mur­taza Mughal, Pres­i­dent PEW. He said that tex­tile and fer­til­izer sec­tor in Pun­jab would be ma­jor ben­e­fi­cial of the LNG pipe­line there­fore the same should be bur­dened and not the masses reel­ing un­der poverty.

Govern­ment has al­ways pre­ferred the eas­i­est way to raise funds to squeeze masses and al­ways avoided re­forms which can gen­er­ate funds with­out hurt­ing the ma­jor­ity, he noted. Gas com­pa­nies con­tinue to face theft over Rs 30 bil­lion an­nu­ally and UFG losses in dou­ble dig­its due to ab­sence of re­forms and UNG is Bangladesh is less than one per­cent, he said. Dr. Mur­taza Mughal said that al­low­ing gas com­pa­nies to milk masses to raise funds for gas pipe­lines is in­dif­fer­ence on the part of the govern­ment.

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