Petrol pumps reopen as strike ends
There is a good news for petrol-deprived people of Pakistan as petroleum dealers have announced to end the strike that added the misery to the daily life of the people on Thursday, reported 24NewsHD TV channel.
The petroleum dealers have shut the majority of the petrol pumps across the country for pressing their demand of increased profit margin.
The development came after a day-long panic after a long dialogue between Pakistan Petroleum Dealers and stakeholders.
The Petroleum Division has proposed an increase of 99 paisas per litre in the dealers’ margin. The 25percent increase in dealers’ margin will compensate them for delays caused during the time spent to oversee the issue.
The proposed increase in the margin will also help cover the increasing inflation. The Petroleum Division has assured that the 25percent increase in the margin will be supported in the upcoming ECC meeting.
The Petroleum Division has also assured to review the dealers’ margin after every six months as well.
Earlier, the public’s miseries multiplied as they could not even buy expensive petrol as filling stations across Pakistan shut down on the call of the petroleum dealers who were demanding more profits.
The petrol pumps have been shut almost in all the cities including Karachi, Lahore, Multan, Islamabad, Peshawar, Faisalabad and Gujranwala.
A few fuel stations were seen open in Karachi but the common man as usual was at the receiving end as the public transport also ran thin. There were also reports that diesel along with petrol was also not available in Karachi. The petroleum dealers said they would not do business below the six percent margin. If the government wanted to cancel their licences it should go ahead, they added.
On the other hand, Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra) has announced action against those disrupting the petrol supply across the country.
There was a panic buying as worried public lined up at the few filling stations still selling petrol in different cities including Karachi. There were brawls and traffic jams were witnessed at petrol pump stations across Pakistan
Commuters rushed to the petrol pumps to get their fuel tanks filled in long queues, which disrupted the traffic movement on major arteries of Karachi.
In Lahore, the strike called by petroleum dealers was partial. However, citizens said that there are disrupted by the closure of the petrol pumps.
On city’s Peco Road, PSO, Shell and Attock petrol pumps continued to sell petrol which was also available in Model Town.
Petrol pumps run by the companies were also selling fuel in Islamabad and Rawalpindi. However, pumps owned by private owners were closed for business.
The strike was also effective in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa where PSO and Shell filling stations were open in Peshawar but all others were shut.
The public have appealed to the government to settle the dispute with the dealers and resume the supply of petrol.
Pakistan Petroleum Dealers Association Chairman Abdul Sami Khan had on Wednesday announced the countrywide strike to press their demand to increase their profit margin as expenses have already soared by three percent. He said the association announced the indefinite call as a last resort.
Association Secretary Information Khawaja Atif claimed Hammad Azhar did not accept the demands despite assurance.
Petroleum Secretary contacted the chairman of the association and apprised him that the ministry had moved the summary for the increase in margin to the Petroleum Division but he could not disclose the summary points.
Abdul Sami Khan said the strike will go on as per the announcement as they were not informed with the summary moved to the petroleum division.
Association General Secretary (Multan) Malik Iqbal said the strike would continue till the acceptance of their demands. He said petrol pumps will remain shut in South Punjab also.
He said the government should increase the margin from Rs3.15 to Rs6.
However, state-run Pakistan State Oil (PSO) and Oil Tankers Association announced to keep petrol pumps open as usual and onwards, contrary to the association's strike call.
Minister of Energy Hammad Azhar said the government was in touch with the petroleum dealers association and a summary regarding revision of their margins had already been tabled in ECC and a decision will be taken in its next session.