Home Latest News Malik Warns Petrol Hoarders of ‘Dire Consequences’

Malik Warns Petrol Hoarders of ‘Dire Consequences’

State minister for petroleum says country has sufficient petrol stock for 20 days, adding consumer prices will not be revised before fortnightly review

by Staff Report

Photo courtesy PID

Minister of State for Petroleum Musadik Malik on Wednesday warned of “dire consequences” for anyone creating an artificial fuel shortage by hoarding petroleum products, stressing that the country has sufficient stocks to meet demand.

“Sufficient stock of petroleum products are available in the country to meet the needs of petrol for 20 days and diesel for 29 days,” he told a press conference convened to address reports of people facing difficulty in purchasing petrol and diesel from several cities, primarily in Punjab province. Noting that the available stocks did not factor in cargoes in transit or awaiting berthing, he regretted that that a “few people” were creating an artificial shortage by hoarding petrol and diesel in the hope of selling it at a larger profit in future.

Recent reports have indicated that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has demanded the government increase taxes on fuel products for revenue generation, with oil marketing companies expecting a massive hike to fuel tariffs next week. Ahead of this, per reports, some companies have started hoarding fuel with an aim to release available supplies once prices have spiked to avail higher profits. Acknowledging the report, the state minister warned oil marketing companies to not take the state’s writ lightly, hinting that anyone found involved in hoarding risked having their license revoked.

“I request those hoarding petroleum products to shun this practice and to not challenge the writ of the state,” he stressed, adding that the government had no plans to increase fuel prices ahead of the fortnightly review. However, he said, any change to global fuel prices would be passed onto the consumer.

To a question, Malik said he hoped Pakistan would soon finalize an agreement with Russia for discounted crude oil, leading to lower fuel prices in the country.

Ahead of the minister’s press interaction, the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) issued a letter to the Punjab chief secretary, directing him to take action against anyone illegally hoarding petrol and diesel. According to the letter, OGRA has identified locations in the province that might be being utilized to store petroleum products to create an artificial shortage and has conveyed the same to the government official for action against anyone found inconveniencing the public.

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