ISLAMABAD (Eshfak Mughal):- The Government threats didn’t work and the Pakistan Petroleum Dealers Association has shutdown petrol pumps in countrywide for indefinite period.
The strike caused problems for citizens who found it difficult to reach their schools, offices and other places.
The Association had announced to go on strike if their demands regarding increase the profit margin on petroleum products don’t fulfill.
“Petrol pumps across the country will remain closed today,” said the Petroleum Dealers Association secretary. “The government did not accept our demands. Till the government does not increase the dealers’ margin to 6%, we will not negotiate with them,” he added.
He alleged that the government had provided assurances of fulfilling dealers’ demands but so far, had not spoken to them.
Countrywide strike can be witnessed in all major and small cities including Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad, Quetta, Peshawar, Faisalabad, Multan, Gugaranwalla, Sialkot, Mardan, Haiderabad, Sukhar, Bahawalpur, Saiwal, Rawalpindi, Gilgit Baltistan, Azad Kashmir.
The few petrol pumps in the city that were open had long queues of cars lined up outside them.
Most petrol pumps in twin cities were also closed which is causing problem for the citizens. They are searching for petrol to run their vehicles and motorcycles but they don’t.
A very few petrol pumps remains open and citizens stands in long queues outside the pumps to get petrol.
Quarels between citizens were also observed during the panic buying of petrol. With patience wearing thin and exhausting fuel at the filling stations, several car owners tried getting ahead of others, instead of waiting in queues, engaging in arguments and brawls.
Energy Minister Hammad Azhar reacted to the petrol strike, saying that the government will not accept “illegitimate demands” by certain petroleum dealers.
“Some groups want a hike in prices of petroleum products by Rs9,” revealed the minister. “The government will not increase prices of petroleum products by Rs9 per litre to appease a few companies.”
Azhar condemned the demand of petroleum dealers, saying that creating difficulties for the common man was unfortunate.
The energy minister said he had already submitted a summary to the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) to increase the margin on the sale of petroleum products.
“A decision in this regard will be taken by the next meeting. However, only legitimate demands will be fulfilled,” he stated.
He said the government was aware of the difficulties that petrol pump owners were going through, adding that they should also realise the difficulties that people are facing due to the strike and reconsider their decision.
Yesterday, The OGRA has also issues statement and said that all petrol pumps will remain open to ensure uninterrupted petrol supply to the public. The organization also warned that action will be taken against those who will interrupt.
On the other hand, the dealers were also said that they are ready to pay the maximum price of cancelation of liacences as they can’t carryon their business with this situation.