Punjab faces petrol shortage.
Despite claims of adequate availability and government threats of harsh action against hoarders, a petrol shortage persists across Punjab, disrupting the daily lives of the general public.
The Neutral has learned that the situation is worst in remote areas where the pumps have been without power for more than a month.
On the other hand, the Pakistan Petroleum Dealer Association (PPDA) has held all Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) accountable for failing to ensure adequate supplies in response to demand, leaving the pumps dry and motorists with no choice but to look for petrol in cities.
The OMC Association of Pakistan (OMAP) rejected the claim, claiming that some pumps were involved in hoarding petrol and causing artificial shortages in order to earn more profits.
creating artificial scarcity
“At present, 30 to 40 per cent of the total 450 pumps in Lahore and its outskirts have no petrol due to squeezed supplies from OMCs, including the largest public sector company and two international firms. Previously, these three companies were not to be accused of engaging in such practises. But now they, like others, are employing such tactics,” PPPDA Punjab Information Secretary Khawaja Atif told Dawn on Thursday.
Similarly, he stated that several pumps in Gujranwala, Faisalabad, Sheikhupra, Sargodha, Sahiwal, Kasur, and other districts have been closed for several days. Mr Atif added that the situation is worse in remote areas of various districts where the pumps have been without the commodity for nearly a month.
OMAP chairman Tariq Wazir said the OMCs cannot supply 50,000 litres to a single pump against the entire demand for just 10,000 litres. “How can we do this?” he questioned, adding that the OMCs have sufficient stocks for 20 days.