PESHAWAR: Motorists and motorcyclists suffered in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on Thursday as most filling stations didn’t sell petrol and diesel in line with the call for a strike given by the Petroleum Dealers Association to demand higher profit margin.

Provincial PDA president Abdul Majid told Dawn that the strike was a complete success in the province as almost all 1,500 petrol pumps remained closed.

He said only five petrol pumps remained open in the provincial capital.

Mr Majid said three of those filling stations were operated by the Pakistan State Oil company and others by Shell.

Petroleum dealers say sale resumption only after their profit margin increased

Most motorists and motorcyclists had fueled up a day earlier but many were seen complaining about the unavailability of petrol and diesel on the outskirts of the provincial capital, including Charsadda and Kohat Roads.

Some PSO pumps that were open in the city and cantonment were mostly visited by motorcyclists.

Wahid Khan of Charsadda told Dawn that he went from one filling station to another to get petrol but failed as not a single filling station was open on the Charsadda Road.

He said he managed to get the fuel tank filled at a PSO filling station on the GT Road.

The resident said he took petrol in a plastic bottle home as it was not clear how long the strike would last.

The manager of a PSO pump said the company had ordered its filling stations to ‘keep storage at full capacity’, so he acted accordingly.

“We currently have sufficient petrol quantity and will continue serving visitors,” he said.

Petrol pumps in Bajaur district also remained closed, causing difficulties to transporters.

According to the transporters, almost all filling stations were remained completely closed across the district.

Talking to Dawn, the transporters from different areas of the region said the filling stations didn’t sell petrol and diesel after 7am.

They said they visited several filling stations but workers of any outlet were willing to give fuel to them throughout the day.

The transporters said according to the government’s statement, petrol pumps operated by PSO and some other companies will remain open across the country during the strike.

However, they complained that there were no filling station open to give fuel to them though most filling stations were operated by the Pakistan State Oil.

When contacted, All Bajaur Petroleum Association president Salman Khan, who also the owner of a PSO filling station, claimed almost all petrol pumps were remained closed across the district.

He said filling stations had been closed on the call of the All Pakistan Petroleum Association meant to increase the profit margin.

He admitted that PSO stations were remained closed on Thursday and that petrol pumps would remain closed until the further orders of the All Pakistan Petroleum Association.

All 225 filling stations, including those operated by Shell and PSO companies, remained closed in Lower Dir district.

All Petroleum Dealers Association, Lower Dir, president Mian Ali Jan told reporters that the strike would continue until the government accepted the demand.

“We’re provided with Rs2.5 commission when the petrol was sold for Rs38 and the amount remained the same after the price of petrol reached Rs148 per liter,” he said.

He said Rs400 million had to be invested to set up a filling station.

“We demand at least Rs6 as the commission. We will continue with the strike until the demand is accepted,” he said.

Published in Dawn, November 26th, 2021

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