‘Burdening masses to finance gas project illegal’
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.