The Oil Tanker Contractors Association (OTCA) ended their strike yesterday after successful negotiations with the government. This information was shared by the OTCA chairman Obaidullah Afridi.
The association had gone on strike against the government 4 days ago due to the imposition of 16 per cent sales tax on fuel transportation. After the negotiations, the tax collection has been delayed until June 30th. The sales tax was doubled a few months back but its collection was delayed to avoid causing a fuel crisis in the country.
Petrol Pumps Drying Out in Karachi
The strike had caused as many as 20% of the fuel stations in Karachi to dry out completely. Reports state that some of the petrol pumps run by Pakistan State Oil also dried out. Normally PSO stations provide fuel in times of shortage.
Minister of Petroleum and Natural Resources, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said,
Imposition of double general sale tax on inter-city transportation on POL [petroleum oil lubricants] products is a provincial matter. The provincial governments should evolve a strategy to resolve the taxation issue permanently.
Strangely enough, he added that there was no fuel shortage in Pakistan, saying that there was fuel available for 21 days in the country.
Strike Would Have Continued Indefinitely
Before yesterday’s meeting between the government and the OTCA, the association vice chairman Shams Shahwani had said that the strike would continue until the government withdrew the tax completely. He said that OTCA transports oil across Pakistan on behalf of 18 oil companies.
Each oil tanker pays Rs10,500 in taxes and duties when it goes from Karachi to Khyber-Pakhtukhwa and returns to Karachi,
Local oil production provides for 25% of the total fuel in Pakistan. The other 75% is imported from abroad with Karachi playing a key role due to being the biggest seaport in the country.
Via Express Tribune