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KARACHI: The petroleum dealers have strongly opposed the plan to sell diesel on roads through Doorstep Delivery Tankers (DDTs) across the country and termed it against the national interests.

The decision would further increase smuggling and cause the government to lose billions in revenue, the dealers said adding that the decision will endanger the lives and property of the people while sinking the billions of dollars invested by oil and gas companies and their dealers.

An emergency meeting of Pakistan Petroleum Dealers Association (PPDA) was held at Lahore to discuss the issue and warned that such a move would result in the loss of hundreds of thousands of jobs and the bankruptcy of thousands of businesses.

Hassan Shah, a member of the Central Executive Committee of the PPDA, told Business Recorder that dealers make a profit of a few rupees on the sale of a liter of diesel, while the smuggled oil sellers make a profit of Rs 70 to Rs 80 per liter. He said most petrol pump owners cannot sell the smuggled petroleum products because doing so risks their investment of Rs 300 to Rs 400 million. However, it will be easier for smugglers to sell fuel through benami tankers, he added.

He questioned the decision’s rationale, given the widespread presence of petrol pumps across the country and its lack of practice globally.

He said that the government should refrain from implementing this project; otherwise, after Shell, other companies will also leave the country, affecting Pakistan’s image.

According to Hassan Shah, the legalisation of smuggled diesel will shrink the size of the documented economy and increase the size of the black economy.

According to Hasan Shah, a delegation of Pakistan Petroleum Dealers Association (PPDA) has met Chairman OGRA, DG of the Explosives Department, and sent letters to the Ministry of Petroleum to inform them of their concerns. However, the project’s rapid progress raises concerns, he said.

He said that petroleum dealers would not allow anyone to play with the future of the nation in order to benefit a few influential people, as it is obvious that after sale of diesel on roads, the sale of petrol and gas will also be allowed.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2024

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