JHANG: Most of the petrol pumps in the district are selling petrol at Rs97.50 per litre, charging consumer extra Rs2 from the official notified price of Rs95.50 under the cover of fuel transportation charges.

Muhammad Riaz, of Station Chowk, told Dawn he found out about the reduction in fuel prices through the media but he was charged Rs97.50 per liter in the district. He urged the government and the Oil and Gas Regulation Authority (Ogra) to take action against petrol pump owners and oil marketing companies (OMCs) for overcharging the consumers.

He said Ogra had no mechanism at the district level to ensure that official prices were in place at petrol stations of OMCs. Instead, Ogra authorised the district administration to monitor prices at fuel pumps while fuel station owners had good relations with the administration.

Another petrol consumer Rana Jamil said the last time when fuel prices were reduced, assistant commissioner raided some petrol stations and took action against them for overcharging the customers. Later on, raids were stopped.

Muhammad Ramazan, of Satellite Town, said it was the job of the government and Ogra to check and enforce fuel prices at pump stations.

Petrol pump owners, however, say that they brought fuel to pumps by paying extra transportation costs, which should be paid by OMCs as per the Ogra oil policy.

Dawn learned that because of the strike threat by petrol pump station owners, the district administration avoid conducting surveys of price lists displayed at various petrol pumps.

Ali Aftab Sial, who follows petrol prices trends, told Dawn fuel station licenses were issued to OMCs by the government with fuel selling rights but station owners operated on their own, so Ogra had nothing to do with them. As per policies, OMCs are to provide fuel at pumps but in reality, the transportation cost is being paid by consumers.

He said that fuel pump licenses should be issued to them who operate pumps as this was a permanent solution to the issue. Deputy Commissioner Shaukat Ali was not available for comment.

Published in Dawn, July 24th, 2018