Govt responsible for petrol shortage, say marketing companies

By: News Desk      Published: 11:33 AM, 5 Jun, 2020
Govt responsible for petrol shortage, say marketing companies

Amid the severe petrol shortage in the country, the oil marketing companies held the government responsible for the situation and also demanded an increase in the POL prices, reported 24NewsHD TV channel on Friday.

In response to a show-cause notice issued by Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra), the marketing companies said the current situation was a result of the government’s decision to ban the import of petroleum products in March without any planning.

They also repeatedly requested the government to allow the import but to no avail, the companies said in their reply to the show-cause notice.

According to the oil marketing companies, the POL prices are much higher in other countries as compared with Pakistan and the government should announce new rates after every 15 days.

The Ogra had issued the show-cause notice to the oil marketing companies as the country is experiencing a severe shortage of petrol. An interesting fact is that some experts had warned about the issue earlier but the government did not pay any attention to that.

On the other hand, the Competition Commission of Pakistan has started a probe after taking notice of the petroleum products shortage and demanding higher prices for high octane.

There is an opinion that the marketing companies may have created an artificial shortage through hoarding or reducing supply at a time when the government reduced the POL prices and there was also a reduced consumption amid the lockdown.   

Earlier, the Petroleum Division claimed that there was a sufficient supply of POL product available in the country and they had raised the shortage issue with the Ogra on several occasions.

Meanwhile, the people around the country are experiencing great hardships in finding petrol, as 24NewsHD TV channel in a latest report said nothing had changed in Karachi since June 1 when the current crisis surfaced.

As the oil marketing companies did not restore supply, many petrol pumps remained closed in the city while long lines of vehicles could be seen on those which are still open.

In Rawalpindi, 24NewsHD TV channel reported, all the petrol pumps except those of Pakistan State Oil (PSO) are shut.

Similar reports are coming from other parts of the country – Balochistan, Attock, Lahore, Thatta, Badin and others – where petrol has gone missing from most of the filling stations.