Long lines of vehicles formed at many fuel stations across the country on Wednesday, with people waiting for hours as the Pakistan Petroleum Dealers Association announced a nationwide strike and closure of fuel stations from tomorrow (Thursday).
The strike call comes over their demand to revise profit margin.
Earlier this week, a spokesman for the association said that the government is constantly delaying their “genuine” demand of increasing the margin.
Talking to Business Recorder, PPDA Spokesman Nauman Butt had said around 8,000 fuel stations across the country would be closed.
He said that the fuel stations will also remain closed in Azad Jammu and Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan, adding that they will chalk out their future line of action if their demand is not met.
According to a handout issued by the association on Wednesday, the strike will continue for an indefinite period.
"The promise remains unfulfilled to date ... [and] now, because of [growing] inflation and increase in the prices of petroleum products, it has become difficult for dealers to run fuel stations," the press release read.
The press release further noted that "the government had agreed to raise the profit margin by six percent and sought time till November 17 to implement the decision".
"Dealers continued the supply of petroleum products in the public interest, but five days have passed since the agreed date of November 17 and the government representatives don't seem serious," the statement said.
Meanwhile, Pakistan State Oil (PSO) said that it would keep its company-operated and company-owned petrol pumps open during the strike. “All our petrol pumps nationwide that are company-owned and operated will remain open and continue to function normally,” said the state-owned petroleum corporation in a Twitter post.
After the protest's announcement by the Pakistan Petroleum Dealers Association, Energy Minister Hammad Azhar in a Twitter post said that efforts were being made to resolve the issue.
“We are in touch with petroleum dealers association. A summary regarding revision of their margins has already been tabled in ECC and a decision will be taken in its next session,” he wrote.