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ISLAMABAD: Former premier Shahid Khaqan Abbasi has said that the government is all set to deregulate the prices of petroleum products because when the prices increase in the international oil market then the government has to jack up the prices and the masses have to bear the burden of hike in oil prices.

He was speaking at a ceremony of Pakistan Petroleum Dealers Association (PPDA) which was held here in the federal capital under PPDA chairman Abdul Sami Khan.

He said that he is against the mechanism of petroleum price determination while the government has no link with the oil price determination. He said petroleum dealers should earn rightful profit from their businesses. He, however, deplored that some dealers were allegedly involve in less measurement and adulteration of oil. If dealers are given rightful profit then they would avoid indulging in any illegal practice, said Abbasi.

This government has now approved due commission for the dealers and it is hoped that they would earn rightful earning from their businesses, Abbasi added.

He further revealed that investors had shown interest in up-gradation of existing refineries and setting up new refineries and work in progress on setting up new oil pipeline for smooth supply of petrol across the country. The new pipeline would help the country to save consumers from paying Rs4.70 per litre margins to dealers.

He further said that the policy to use CNG in transport was a wrong policy when the deposit of indigenous gas was depleting annually.

Petroleum dealers have rejected the proposed deregulation of prices of petroleum products and said that the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) has so far not consulted them in this regard.

The petroleum dealers rejected the proposed deregulation of the prices of petroleum products and declared that they would go on countrywide strike if OGRA does not consult them before taking any final decision.

Speaking on the occasion, PPDA chairman Abdul Sami Khan said it is seriously ironic that OGRA has so far not consulted the dealers regarding the proposed deregulation of prices of petroleum products. He, however, declared that PPDA does not accept the proposed deregulation of prices of petroleum products and would prefer to go on countrywide strike if their demands are not met and they are not consulted before taking any final decision. We are the main stakeholder but we are being ignored by the OGRA, said Abdul Sami Khan, chairman PPDA.

He added that the government should immediately take measures to stop illegal smuggling of oil from Iran as the government is not earning revenue from the smuggling of oil while it is ruining petroleum dealers’ businesses.

We will strongly oppose the proposed deregulation of prices of petroleum products and would go on strike if not consulted, said Abdul Sami Khan.

Raja Waseem Kiani, Islamabad District President of PPDA, said OGRA should advise provincial chief secretaries to immediately take strict action against illegal petrol pumps and oil agencies while district administration should ensure closure of illegal petrol pumps and oil agencies in their respective jurisdiction.

Chaudry Faisal, PPDA General Secretary, in his speech demanded from the government to grant the status of industry to petrol pumps so that they would save their skin from additional electricity charges and to benefit their employees from the fruits of social security and old benefits.

PPDA office bearers from Punjab, Sindh, Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Gligit-Baltistan, and Azad Jammu and Kashmir were present on the occasion.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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