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LAHORE: In a strongly worded letter addressed to the Secretary of Petroleum, Momin Agha, Chairman of the Oil Marketing Companies Association (OMAP), Tariq Wazir Ali, expressed vehement opposition to the recent decision granting exclusive rights to import high-speed diesel (HSD) to a state-owned enterprise on behalf of all oil marketing companies (OMCs).

The move, seen as a potential threat to fair competition and market dynamics, has sparked concerns within the oil marketing industry. The OMAP argued that granting the state-owned enterprise the sole authority for importing HSD could create a monopoly, limiting the independent operation of other OMCs and disrupting the competitive landscape.

While acknowledging the government’s intent to streamline import processes, the OMAP contends that exclusive import rights for a state-owned enterprise are not the solution. The association emphasizes the importance of preserving a level playing field to encourage healthy competition, innovation, and optimal service delivery to consumers.

The letter urges the Oil & Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra) to reconsider the decision and actively engage all stakeholders in formulating a framework that promotes inclusivity. OMAP calls for a balanced approach that benefits the industry economically while upholding principles of fair competition and equal opportunity.

The purported benefits outlined in the official document fail to address concerns about concentrating such a critical aspect of the oil industry in the hands of a single entity. OMAP argues that a monopoly could lead to an unfair advantage for a state-owned company affecting pricing, settlement of LC, and other trade-related advantages to the detriment of smaller OMCs.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2024

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