ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Petroleum Dealers Association (PPDA) on Wednesday announced to observe a countrywide strike from tomorrow (November 25) over alleged government negligence in increasing the dealer’s margin to six percent.
However, the Ministry of Energy (Petroleum Division) announced Wednesday that all petrol pumps will remain open across the country tomorrow.
PPDA’s Secretary General, Noman Butt while talking with Profit said petrol pumps located across the country including Gilgat-Baltistan and Azad Kashmir will close businesses at 6:00 a.m. from Thursday for an indefinite period. He said that so far the government has not paid due heed to the demands of PPDA and continued ignoring their demands.
He said there would be no talks with the authorities till the margins on the sale of petroleum products is not increased to 6%. Previously, the PPDA, after finding assurances from the government that their demands would be met, had called off the strike scheduled on November 05, said Noman Butt.
He, however, added that the Petroleum Dealers Association has now asked the petrol pump owners to observe strike on November 25 and it is expected that all petrol pumps except state-owned oil marketing company (Pakistan State Oil) will go on strike from Thursday.
On the other hand, Energy Minister Hammad Azhar said that ECC will consider reviewing commission of dealers in the next meeting.
Federal Energy Minister Hammad Azhar in a tweet said,” We are in touch with the petroleum dealers association. A summary regarding revision of their margins has already been tabled in ECC and a decision will be taken in its next session.”
A spokesman of the petroleum division said that the masses should not get worried with this strike call. He said that the petroleum division is striving hard to ensure a suitable increase in the margins of oil marketing companies and dealers.
He said a summary seeking increase in dealer’s margin has been sent to the federal cabinet’s economic coordination committee (ECC) and the ECC is likely to make a decision in this regard within ten days. All petrol pumps of PSO, Shell, Total and other OMCs will remain open on Thursday, said spokesman Petroleum Division.
Meanwhile, Pakistan State Oil (PSO) has declared that all those petrol pumps which are owned by the company (PSO) or work under it will be opened and they will continue/open business as routine matter.
Similarly, All Pakistan Oil Tankers and Association Chairman Mir Shams Shahwani in a statement made it clear that his association has nothing to do with this strike. He said that closure of petrol pumps will cause more problems as the prevailing condition or situations of the country do not afford any strike and are not in favor of any kind of strike. He said 26,000 oil tankers will continue oil supply across the country. Large network of PSO comprising more than 10,000 tankers will continue the supply of petroleum products on Thursday, said Mir Shams Shahwani, Chairman, All Pakistan Oil Tankers and Association.
He added that the masses are already in trouble and we do not want to be part of any strike call which would add salt to the injuries of common public, said Chairman Mir Shams Shahwani.
Govt says no need to worry
The Ministry of Energy (Petroleum Division) announced Wednesday that all petrol pumps will remain open across the country tomorrow.
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.
“People don’t need to worry,” the spokesperson said, adding that the ministry is making efforts for a reasonable increase in the margin for oil marketing companies and dealers.
They further stated that the federal cabinet’s decision in the said regard is 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.
The Pakistan Petroleum Dealers Association (PPDA) had announced earlier in the day to go on a countrywide strike from tomorrow (November 25) to register their protest at what they call “low-profit margins”.
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 goods.
OGRA spokesman said that some elements are 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.
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