New Committee Formed to Limit Hoarding & Black Marketing of Fuel in Pakistan

Minister for Energy Omar Ayub Khan has expressed deep concern over the fuel shortage artificially created by some Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) and dealers to maximize their profits.

The minister has formed a committee to verify stock availability, identify black-marketing, and hoarding by some elements.

Chairing a video conference at the Petroleum Division, he said some elements created an artificial shortage of fuel across the country for their personal gains, which caused inconvenience to the general public.

The meeting was attended by Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Petroleum Nadeem Babar and Secretary Petroleum Mian Asad Hayaud Din, besides representatives of Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) and OMCs.

The meeting discussed ways and means to mitigate fuel demand & supply challenges. The meeting took a number of decisions including the formation of a committee under the supervision of Director General Oil to verify stock availability, and identification of black marketing, and hoarding by OMCs.

It was also decided that “OMCs shall not be allowed to ration supplies of petroleum products to retail outlets,” and strict action will be taken against dealers involved in overcharging and hoarding.

The meeting decided that OMCs will not be allowed to cancel or defer their planned cargoes for June 2020, while oil refineries have been directed to produce their committed volume of petroleum products.

OMCs to move Mogas from Karachi ports to main consumption centers immediately. In this regard, a committee has also formulated to inspect OMCs installations/depots to verify their stocks, physically. The license of OMC(s) will be canceled by the regulator if anyone found negligent.

OMCs will also ensure additional supplies to Malakand, Faisalabad, and Hyderabad Divisions.

Oil Companies Advisory Council has been asked to issue a ‘press statement’ indicating that sufficient stocks of petrol are available in the country and all import of petroleum products is lined up to meet the demand. Whereas, OGRA had been given a task to deploy vigilance teams in the field to verify available stocks of OMCs, at depots and retail outlets.

The meeting also stressed that additional production by refineries as well as planned imports should be as per schedule aimed at meeting the monthly needs, observing that useable stocks of 214,536 Metric Tons petrol are available in the country, which is sufficient for 10 days.

The meeting vowed to take proactive and appropriate actions jointly by the Petroleum Division, OGRA, and all relevant stakeholders, including the provincial government, to normalize the fuel supply situation across the country.

The Petroleum Division urged the public and petrol dealers not to indulge in panic buying.