ISLAMABAD: The federal cabinet on Tuesday took serious notice of what it called the artificial shortage of petrol in the country and Prime Minister Imran Khan ordered maximum punitive action against all those responsible for this.
The prime minister while chairing the cabinet meeting called the Ogra (Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority) chairman and inquired about causes of the shortage of petroleum products in the country.
According to an official press release, the cabinet noted that Ogra and the Petroleum Division have legal authority to physically enter and inspect oil companies’ storage facilities.
The cabinet directed the petroleum ministry to form joint raid teams comprising representatives of the Petroleum Division, Ogra, Federal Investigation Agency and district administrations.
The teams will inspect all petrol depots/storage. They have the authority to enter any site. “Anyone found involved in hoarding shall face full force of law, including arrest and forced release of such stores,” the directive said.
The meeting decided that any company found not maintaining the mandatory stocks and supply to its outlets, as per their licence, would face punitive actions, including suspension and cancellation of licence and heavy fines.
The prime minister directed the Petroleum Division and Ogra to take all actions necessary to ensure regular supplies within 48-72 hours.
The Ministry of Energy informed the cabinet that while total supplies in June 2019 were 650,000 tonnes, supplies arranged for June 2020 are 850,000 tonnes. The cabinet urged the public not to engage in panic buying. The stocks that are being hoarded will be identified and ensured to be available in the market. An action will be taken against hoarders.
The prime minister directed the minister of petroleum and Ogra to ensure that every oil marketing company maintains 21-day stock to meet its licence conditions.
Published in Dawn, June 10th, 2020