The Senate on Wednesday passed "The Gas Infrastructure Development Cess Bill, 2015" with majority.

It provides for levy and collection of the gas infrastructure development Cess.

The bill was moved by Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources Shahid Khaqan Abbasi.

Members belonging to MQM, PTI, ANP and BNP-Awami staged a walkout from the House as a protest over their reservations on the bill.

Speaking on the bill, Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources said that the country needs 1000 billion rupees for maintaining and improving the gas system in the country.

He said only two billion rupees are required for the construction of the gas pipelines. He said the cess will contribute 120 billion rupees annually into the national exchequer. He said the revenue collected from this bill will be used for the infrastructure development in the country.         

The Minister said the country needs 800 billion cubic feet gas annually while only 400 billion cubic feet gas is available that has created the issues like gas shortage and load-shedding.        

He said the objective of the bill is that only the users bear the cost instead of the people of the whole country.

The opposition members opposed the Bill saying provinces should be taken into confidence before levying the cess. 

They said that the matter should be referred to the concerned committee of the House for further consideration.

Meanwhile, "The Capital University of Science and Technology Bill, 2015" was introduced in the House. The bill provides for the establishment of Capital University of Science and Technology.

The chair referred the bill to the concerned committee of the House.

The House has now been prorogued.

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