Petroleum dealers plan strike over low margins after Eid

Our Correspondent
July 03, 2022

Country's petrol outlet owners on Saturday announced to go on a complete strike from July 18, 2022

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Petroleum dealers plan strike over low margins after Eid.Photo: The News/File

KARACHI: Country's petrol outlet owners on Saturday announced to go on a complete strike from July 18, 2022, in protest against runaway cost of doing business and minuscule dealers' margins that had left their operations unviable.

"The low margins are forcing them to shut down their businesses and should be raised to 6 percent," said Abdul Sami Khan, Chairman Pakistan Petroleum Dealers Association (PPDA), speaking at a press conference.

Khan noted that due to the high cost of electricity their profit margins declined drastically.

Besides, massive jumps in the prices of petroleum products also proved blows to their businesses.

“The petrol pumps will remain shut till their demands are accepted,” Khan said adding, “The fuel stations cannot do business amid losses.”

At present the dealers are receiving margins after the deduction of tax at the rate of Rs3.20/litre on diesel and Rs3.90/litre on petrol.

He also mentioned that they were promised by the previous PTI government that margins would be increased to 4.5 percent but due to increased prices of diesel and petrol, the PPDA was facing many problems in running the fuel stations.

“The representatives of the government are not paying any heed to the concerns of the petroleum dealers,” Khan said.

He said the per litre cost of dealers had gone up to Rs5, while the cost of electricity had doubled compared to previous year.

He pointed out that dealers get nothing from a hike in fuel prices and vowed to continue the protest as long as their problems were unresolved.

“In order to save consumers from hardships on Eid days, dealers have announced to go on strike after Eid on July 18, 2022,” the PPDA chairman said.

Pakistan’s monthly fuel oil imports are set to hit a four-year high in June, Refinitiv data showed, as the country struggles to buy liquefied natural gas (LNG) for power generation amid a heatwave that is driving demand.

The resurgence in residue fuel demand at power plants underscores the energy crisis faced by the South Asian country and slows its efforts to switch to cleaner fuel.

Pakistan had cut fuel oil imports since the second half of 2018 as LNG prices were low, but it had to at times switch back to oil since July 2021 because of sky-high LNG prices.

The country’s fuel oil imports could climb to about 700,000 tonnes this month, after hitting 630,000 tonnes in May, according to Refinitiv estimates.

Imports last peaked at 680,000 tonnes in May 2018 and 741,000 tonnes in June 2017.

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