It was initially set up to aid collection of money for the construction of infrastructure projects such as the Iran-Pakistan pipeline, the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India pipeline and Liquified Natural Gas projects. But since then, the history of the GIDC has been complicated.
In November 2013, when the PML-N came into power, the Peshawar High Court declared the levy of the GIDC unconstitutional and therefore illegal, demanding that the money collected be returned. The government challenged this in the Supreme Court, but it ruled in favour of benching the GIDC.
Two years later, in 2015, the GIDC was re-imposed through legislature before industrialists took the government to court over the matter once again. This means that the GIDC, which was originally imposed to fund the construction of new gas pipelines and LNG facilities, remained in litigation for over 8 years. This act re-established the GIDC, much to the anger of the industrial sector which stated the earlier tax money was in fact not used for infrastructure projects.
Fast forward to the future, in September 2019, the PTI run government imposed a presidential ordinance dismissing the PKR 400 billion of GIDC levy. However, the issue soon became controversial with people thinking it was done as a favour to the corporate sector. But many failed to overlook the impact imposing the GIDC would have on Pakistan’s agriculture sector, especially farmers. The government’s decision to reverse their earlier verdict only led to further backlash over its hasty decision on such a monumental issue.
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