Govt tells public ‘no nation-wide strike’ by petrol dealers today

Govt tells public ‘no nation-wide strike’ by petrol dealers today

Staff Report

ISLAMABAD: The Ministry of Energy (Petroleum Division) announced Wednesday that all petrol pumps would remain open across the country.
The announcement came after petrol dealers had announced to observe nation-wide strike and closure of filling stations across the country for indefinite period starting Thursday over government’s failure to fulfill the promise of increasing profit margin for oil marketing companies and dealers. However, Pakistan State Oil (PSO), Shell Pakistan decided not to join the strike. A spokesperson for the Petroleum Division, in a statement, said that the case to increase the margin for petrol pump owners has been sent to the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC).
“People don’t need to worry,” the spokesperson said, adding that the ministry is making efforts for a reasonable increase in the margin for petrol dealers.
They further stated that the federal cabinet’s decision in the said regard was expected in 10 days.
“Petrol pumps of all companies including PSO, Shell, and Total will remain open across the country tomorrow,” the spokesperson said. The spokesperson further stated that oil tankers have been dispatched for ensuring the uninterrupted oil supply throughout the country. Many oil sector associations have expressed satisfaction over the efforts made by the ministry, they added.
Meanwhile, taking notice of the closure of petrol pumps, Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) directed the petroleum marketing companies to ensure an uninterrupted supply of petroleum gooads.
OGRA spokesman said that some elements were trying to disrupt the supply of petroleum products but the OGRA enforcement teams will monitor the situation in the field.
Action will be taken against the elements involved in placing obstacles in the supply, the oil regulator said.
According to the handout issued by the association on Wednesday, announcing nationwide strike, a meeting of petrol dealers under the chairmanship of All Pakistan Petrol Pumps Dealers Association Information Secretary KhwajaAtif was held few days ago in which it was noted that the government’s promise to raise petrol traders profit margin was still not fulfilled.
The handout added that it had become difficult for petrol dealers to run fuel stations due to increase in inflation.
It added that the dealers had previously given the call for a strike from November 5 but had withdrawn it after a government team, led by Minister for Energy HammadAzhar, held a meeting with them on November 3 and agreed to fulfil their demands.
In that meeting, the press release said, “The government had agreed to raise the profit margin by six per cent and sought time till November 17 to implement the decision”.
“Dealers continued the supply of petroleum products in public interest, but five days have passed since the agreed date of November 17 and the government representatives don’t seem serious,” the statement said.