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Sunday July 14, 2024

Petroleum dealers end strike as govt ‘accepts’ demands

"Petroleum dealers were facing difficulties due to Section 136H of Finance Act 2024,” says PPDA general secretary

By Web Desk
July 06, 2024
Motorcyclists waiting for their turn to fill fuel in their bikes at a petrol pump on May 16, 2024. —APP
Motorcyclists waiting for their turn to fill fuel in their bikes at a petrol pump on May 16, 2024. —APP

In a major development, Pakistan Petroleum Dealers Association (PPDA) late Friday night called off their strike after successful negotiation with the federal government.

Petrol pumps across the country on Friday observed partial strike as the petroleum dealers remained divided over the call for strike against 0.5% turnover tax imposed in the federal budget 2024-25.

Following the successful talks, PPDA General Secretary Nouman Butt said: “Income tax is the regulator sector of petroleum products prices. Petroleum dealers were facing difficulties due to Section 136H of Finance Act 2024.”

Speaking on the occasion, Butt thanked the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) chairman, the Petroleum Division secretary and the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra) chairman for accepting their demands.

On Thursday, PPDA Chairman Abdul Sami Khan announced that petrol pumps would remain shut down on Friday.

However, a group of the association’s optimistic leaders announced not to support the strike as they wanted to hold another round of talks with the authorities before carrying out an indefinite strike.

On the other hand, PPDA Spokesperson Hasan Shah had told petroleum dealers: “We have protested in the past as well. We have also blocked D-Chowk and Faizabad Interchange.

"We have protested outside the National Assembly and Senate. However, negotiations are still the best option and strikes should be the last resort."

A large number of petrol pumps in Karachi remained close in the morning, however, some continued their business as usual particularly on the University Road and Sharea Faisal.

Whereas, fuel stations in Lahore outrightly did not observe the strike as the Petroleum Dealers Association Punjab said despite collapsing of the negotiations with the government, they would not shut down petrol pumps as yet.

Petrol pump owners in Lodhran also continued selling fuel across the city, while dissociating with the strike.

Meanwhile, Ogra and Petroleum Division had announced that petroleum products will be available across the country, noting the availability of sufficient petroleum products.

"The concerns of the PPDA have also been taken up with the FBR and Finance Division for consideration," they said on Thursday.