ISLAMABAD/Lahore - Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority has asked the oil marketing companies (OMCs) to ensure round the clock supply and sale of petroleum products at retail outlets as sufficient stock is available in the country.

In a statement, OGRA has made it clear that general public should not face any problem in getting necessary fuel for essential mobility. According to spokesperson of the authority, violation of the license conditions and other relevant laws in this regard would not be spared at all as it concerns the interest of general public.

Towards the strict enforcement of the law and for normalizing the situation OGRA had already dispatched teams for surprise inspections at the retail outlets in the areas of complaint in particular and across the country randomly in general. The enforcement teams in collaboration with the OMCs would ensure the outlet is not closed without any valid reason, stocks are available, sales are normal and price is as per the latest notification.    In order to address the issue of strike by petrol pump dealers, OGRA convened a meeting of the OMCs at the OGRA Office Islamabad that noted stocks are sufficient for two to four weeks. The OMCs informed the meeting that the aggregate stock of diesel was available for 30 days comfortably and 15 days’ supreme petroleum was also available.The meeting also noted that the OMCs had already imported in November 50000 tons of oil in addition to average monthly import of 200,000 tons. The additional imports were made in line with the decisions at meeting of the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources, OGRA, and OMCs in view of the non-availability of CNG during peak winter.  However, main cause of the issue is revision in dealers’ margin which is under the consideration of the federal government and a study is being undertaken to determine a reasonable profit.

Meanwhile, Despite notice of Ogra Chairman against “artificial shortage” of petrol in Punjab due to strike by fuel pumps, the scarcity of fuel hit hard the vehicle owners in different cities across the province. The petrol pump owners continued strike on third day and were stick to their demands of raising their commission in sale of the petrol.

The OGRA chairman on Tuesday constituted a high-level Monitoring and Enforcement Committee led by the authority’s Vice-Chairman. He also convened a meeting of all oil marketing companies on Wednesday. However, the shortages remain continued across the province. The chairman had stated that provision of oil stock would be ensured as per law.  Almost 50 per cent filling stations remained closed in the City causing severe problems to the general public and motorists.  Long queues were witnessed at the petrol pumps which resumed sale. The CNG is also not available due to gas load management plan which led to further problems of the commuters and vehicle owners. There are reports that the filling station owners Sargodha, Multan, Khanewal, Khushab, Bhakkar, Jhang, Faisalabad, Dera Ghazi Khan, Muzaffargarh, Rajanpur, Sahiwal and others cities also observed shutdown. The petrol dealers and black marketers exploited the situation in their favour by selling petrol and diesel at higher rates than the fixed by the authorities concerned. Private transporters also remained busy in looting the citizens by charging exorbitant fares. The citizens expressed grave concerns over the prevailing situation and demanded the provincial and federal governments for mending the situation.