- Minister says that since Wednesday, 900 inspections were carried out in Punjab, with hoarders penalised and a number of petrol pumps sealed
State Minister for Energy (Petroleum Division) Musadik Malik on Thursday reiterated that there is no shortage of petroleum products in the country, and the government will strictly deal with those hoarding petrol and diesel.
Addressing media persons amid a reported shortage of petroleum products in Punjab, the minister said that since Wednesday over 900 inspections were carried out in various districts of Punjab - 530 in Sargodha district and 430 in Faisalabad district - with hoarders penalised and a number of petrol pumps sealed.
“Similarly, a number of inspection operations were carried out across the country, and illegal storages were sealed,” he said.
“Eight warehouses in Vehari have been sealed. These operations will continue,” said the minister.
He also said Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) have been directed to ensure the supply of petrol to pumps. “Every company is saying they have 20 days of petrol and 30 days of diesel, so why is petrol not being supplied,” he asked.
Malik added that he talked to Abdul Sami Khan, Chairman Pakistan Petroleum Dealers Association, earlier today and was assured that the association will not stand with any hoarder of POL products.
“The dealer association’s stance aligns with that of the government in this regard,” said Malik.
Earlier this week, Malik negated rumours that petroleum products prices would be raised substantially in the next fortnightly review and said licenses of those OMCs guilty in creating artificial shortage of petroleum products will be cancelled.
Meanwhile, the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) has advised the chief secretary of Punjab to take strict action against illegal hoarders in order to avoid deliberate shortage in the province.
“OGRA has also disseminated its enforcement teams to check storages and ensure smooth supply of petroleum products in the province,” a spokesman had said in a statement.
On Wednesday, Malik had also clarified that prices of petroleum products would not be hiked before February 15.
On January 29, the government had jacked up the price of petrol and diesel by Rs35 per litre following the historic devaluation of the rupee against the dollar.