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PESHAWAR/ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Petroleum Dealers Association (PPDA) has expressed resolve to go on an indefinite strike from July 18 (tomorrow) by closing filling stations across the country, saying the government failed to fulfil its commitment to raise their margin in phases.

In a message to petroleum dealers, Chairman PPDA Abdul Sami Khan said, “Petroleum Secretary approached me several times today and requested me to come to Islamabad to meet me and Minister of Petroleum but I refused. They grievously requested for a meeting in Karachi on July 16, Saturday at 4.30 pm at PSO House. The meeting day, I request all district presidents of PPDA, all over Pakistan can participate in this meeting but I have delivered my words that strike will not be cancel which is on July 18th, until our demands are accepted.”

The government failure to meet its commitment on increasing margins by June 30 led to this decision, he said.

Earlier, dialogues were held with State Minister for Petroleum, but despite assurances given by the government, no headway has been made.

Petroleum dealers announce nationwide strike on Monday

The failure of talks prompted petroleum dealers to go ahead with their planned strike call, a dealer told Business Recorder.

Backing call of a nationwide strike, given by PPDA, petrol pumps stations owners and dealers in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on Saturday announced to go on strike for an indefinite period from tomorrow (July 18) against ‘non-increase’ of dealers margin’ as promised by the government.

Briefing media after a meeting here at on Saturday, Chairman, Sarhad Petroleum Cartage and Dealers Association Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Muhammad Majid Khan and General Secretary Gul Nawaz Afridi said that the distributors’ margin on petrol and diesel is currently 4 per cent and 3 percent respectively.

Under the leadership of the central chairman of the association Abdul Sami Khan, they told reporters that the former government promised to increase distributors’ commission to 6 per cent by June 2022. But, they lamented the government had yet not materialized its commitment.

Majid Khan said the divisional presidents of the association fully endorsed the call of nationwide strike by PPDA and a meeting was also held in the chamber house for formal endorsement of the strike, which was announced to be observed on July 18 (tomorrow).

The association office bearers demanded to fix dealers’ margin by 6 percent as promised.

Senior leader from Kohat Amjad Ali Shinwari fully backed the strike call on July 18, saying that doing business under present margin is not only difficult, but has been made impossible. He added the cost of business has been increased by 100 per cent, but an increase in profit was not made.

Speaking on the occasion, the association office bearer from DI Khan Jan Alam Mehsud also supported the strike call, advised the dealers to be united.

From Mardan Division, Haji Raham warned the massive financial loss would be inflicted if the dealers were not united and wouldn’t be able to continue this business, and endorsed the strike call on the occasion.

Members of the association from Malakand division Khizar Hayat Khan and Sultan Roam said the interests of dealers should be protected by giving sacrifice.

From Chitral, Bannu, Hazara division office bearers fully backed the call of strike for sake of protecting interests of dealers.

Earlier, a meeting of Sarhad Petroleum and Cartage Dealers Association Khyber Pakhtunkhwa was held at chamber house.

While addressing the meeting, the association central chairman Abdul Sami Khan via video link informed the participants that during the previous government, a meeting was held with the petroleum minister, which promised to increase dealers’ margin at 6 per cent by June 2022. He said the demand was repeated during a meeting with the incumbent petroleum minister, but the association is compelled to go on strike after the government’s non-seriousness attitude of the federal government toward accepting the demand, because the business is quietly difficult and impossible under the present dealers’ margin.

Not only product value has increased but dealers’ expenditures also surged up, the central chairman said. Therefore, he stressed the dealers should be united to raise voice for their genuine right with unanimity.

Abdul Sami said dealers in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa had previously established a new example and expressed hope that they would continue their traditions in future and make the strike call successful on July 18.

Later, the provincial chairman Majid Khan thanked the division presidents for their active participation and endorsement of the strike call. He hoped that they would be successful in attaining legitimate rights, if the dealers were united.

SCCI president Hasnain Khrushid while addressing the meeting said the demands of dealers are legitimate and they have the legal right to use lawful ways to gain their due rights. He said the SCCI has hoped that the federal government would seriously consider issues and demands of the petroleum association and address them amicably.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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