Panic as petroleum sellers go on strike


Panic gripped cities throughout the nation on Wednesday as petroleum sellers have been all set to go on a nationwide strike for an indefinite interval beginning at present (Thursday) in protest towards low revenue margin whereas the Petroleum Division stated that it had moved a summary to the Economic Coordination Committee of the Cabinet (ECC) recommending a rise within the sellers’ share.

The division stated that the federal cupboard would possible take a choice inside the subsequent 10 days, because the sellers are demanding a rise as much as six per cent from the present three per cent of their margin.

A day earlier, the Pakistan Institute of Development Economics (PIDE) additionally advised the ECC to extend the margin of petroleum sellers.

The Punjab authorities has requested the vitality ministry to resolve the difficulty by holding talks with leaders of the Pakistan Petroleum Dealers Association (PPDA).

According to the Petroleum Division, petrol stations owned by Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) together with Pakistan State Oil (PSO), Shell Pakistan, Total and Hascol will stay open on Thursday.

However, most petrol pumps in Karachi ran wanting petrol Wednesday night, inflicting extreme hardships for commuters whereas in different cities, two and 4 wheelers could possibly be seen in lengthy queues at completely different petrol pumps.

PPDA Secretary Noman Butt stated round 8,000 petrol stations throughout the nation, together with Gilgit-Baltistan and Azad Jammu and Kashmir, will shut at 6am from Thursday for an indefinite interval.

Read extra: Countrywide petrol strike on Nov 25

“We are engaged with the Petroleum Division secretary, however, the government has yet to notify the upward revision in the profit margin of dealers,” he stated, including that they won’t name off the strike until the issuance of an official notification.

Previously, he stated, the Petroleum Division had ignored their calls for, including that they’d not maintain talks with the authorities until their revenue margin was elevated.

Addressing a information convention in Lahore on Wednesday, PPDA Information Secretary Khawaja Atif stated that the federal government had left them no possibility however to shut down their enterprise as circumstances weren’t beneficial.

“A recent study conducted by the government estimated that operational expenditures of petrol stations were Rs4.03 per litre and the government is giving Rs3.91 commission per litre on papers,” he stated. “In fact, after deductions by the OMCs, Ogra, and petroleum ministry, dealers hardly get Rs3.01 per litre which is even less than our operational expenditures,” he maintained.

To a query in the course of the convention, the PPDA office-bearers stated: “We have decided to go on strike for an indefinite period. No petrol station will resume operation till acceptance of our demand as low-profit margin has made this business unviable.”

Also learn: ECC could increase oil margins by as much as 25%

The PPDA representatives disclosed that in each metropolis 15-20% petrol stations are being run by the OMCs which might stay operational however they’d be inadequate to cater to the massive demand. Atif identified that there have been round 375 petrol stations supplying over three million litres of petrol every day. “A few dozen petrol stations cannot cater to this huge demand and will run out of fuel in a couple of hours.”

The data secretary stated, “Earlier, we announced going on a strike from November 5 but Energy Minister Hammad Azhar had promised us to take up our issue in the ECC meeting. He sought 10-day time which lapsed on November 15. We waited for the government for 20 days. Now, the minister tweeted that the dealers’ commission has been settled, but it has not.”

The vitality minister tweeted, “We are in touch with the PPDA. A summary regarding revision in their margin has already been tabled in the ECC and a decision will be taken in its next session.”

Meanwhile, the division stated that oil tankers have been dispatched to numerous areas to cater to the scarcity of petrol, whereas all associations associated to the oil sector had expressed their satisfaction over the preparations made by the federal authorities.

In a letter written to the Petroleum Division, the Punjab authorities requested the federal authorities to resolve the difficulty.

“It has been reported by an intelligence agency that the PPDA is poised to observe a countrywide strike on November 25 over alleged government’s reluctance in increasing the dealers’ margin to 6%,” the letter acknowledged. “The federal government may engage leaders of Petroleum Dealers Association into meaningful dialogue to resolve the subject issue.”

In an announcement, Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) spokesperson stated that the authority has taken severe discover of individuals/entities who’re attempting to disrupt oil provides on the pretext of enhance in sellers’ margin.

“All OMCs have been advised to ensure uninterrupted oil supplies at the retail outlets and Ogra enforcement teams are infield to ensure the same. Anyone involved in oil disruptions causing public inconvenience shall be dealt strictly in accordance with Ogra laws,” he added.

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