Islamabad, Reuters. Petrol pump owners in Pakistan started a nationwide strike from Thursday. They are opposed to reducing profits. The government has cut profits on petrochemicals under an agreement with the International Monetary Fund to increase taxes and boost revenue. According to ANI, in view of the strike, there was a situation of road jam in major cities across the country on Wednesday. Long queues of vehicles were seen at petrol pumps to get fuel.
Information secretary of Pakistan Petroleum Dealers Association Khwaja Asif Ahmed said, “This is a nationwide strike. It is happening all over Pakistan and it is indefinite. We will not open our pumps till our demands are met. Meanwhile, the country’s Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) said it would try to control the impact of the strike. Legal action will be taken against any violation.
OGRA said that all oil companies have been advised to ensure uninterrupted oil supply at retail outlets. OGRA enforcement teams are on the ground to ensure this. Any person causing disturbance in public order will be strictly dealt with under OGRA laws. Cars and motorbikes gathered at petrol stations in major cities, including Lahore and Karachi, ahead of the strike that began at 6:00 am local time on Thursday.
The Gas Station Association of Pakistan has said that profits have plummeted in the past few months. The government had earlier increased the tax on petroleum. Fuel prices have gone up several times this year. Under the condition of the IMF, Pakistan will continue to add around 5 Pakistani rupees to petrol prices every month until it touches the 30 Pakistani rupee hike.