KARACHI: The panic buying of petrol by buyers a few days back in anticipation of a massive price hike has eased down after Finance Minister Miftah Ismail’s statement regarding no plan to increase petroleum prices.

However, there is still an element of hoarding of diesel by the farming community in rural areas, in view of ongoing wheat harvesting.

Talking to Dawn from Lahore, Ghiyas Paracha, president of the All Pakistan Petroleum Retailers Association (APPRA), stated that there was no shortage or panic buying of petrol and diesel in the country’s major urban areas. The farming community, which comes from long distances from the rural areas, has started hoarding diesel mainly for wheat threshing, thus causing a demand and supply gap.

He said the oil marketing companies should have allocated more diesel supply in rural areas at this harvesting season time to avert any crisis like situation. However, he claimed that there was no panic or shortage of petrol and diesel in the main cities of Punjab.

APPRA Central Leader Samir Najmul Hussain, said the sale of petrol and diesel in Karachi remained normal on Tuesday since the government had cleared the dust by not increasing the prices of petroleum products. Karachi is not a wheat producing area.

He said there are some problems like diesel shortages that are going on in interior Sindh due to high demand during wheat harvesting.

Industry sources said the country has 400,000 tonnes of diesel stocks, which is enough for 16 days of cover while three tankers are at the outer anchorage of the port. Similarly, the country has 600,000 tonnes of petrol stocks, which is enough for the next 23–24 days, while two to three oil vessels are at the port.

APP adds: The Oil and Gas Regul­atory Authority (Ogra) on Tuesday took cognizance of the reports of non-availability of diesel and moved its enforcement teams along with law enfo­r­cement agencies and district management in different regions to inspect and unearth illegal oil storages.

Anyone found hoarding or stocking oil illegally would be dealt with under the law of the land, Ogra warned in a statement.

Published in Dawn, April 27th, 2022

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