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Petrol shortage again grips Pakistan

Islamabad, Feb 8 (IANS) As rumours about an impending increase in the prices of petroleum products are rife, oil shortage has again gripped Pakistan mainly because of hoarding of stocks and failure of several companies to import the commodity.

Last month, the government had raised the price of petrol and diesel by 35 PKR per litre each, a couple of days before the scheduled date of revising oil prices, apparently bowing to hoarders rather than taking action against them, The Express Tribune reported.

Some petrol pumps have now stopped the supply to customers as they plan to store the commodity and sell it after a likely increase in the price in the coming days.

However, some companies that failed to import the petroleum products due to issues in the opening of Letter of Credit (LCs) were also unable to supply the fuel to their retail outlets, which led to the shortage of products.

Sources told The Express Tribune that the country had sufficient stocks of petrol and diesel to meet the demand for around next 20 days.

They said that currently, only six top companies — Pakistan State Oil, Total, Go, Shell and APL — had the stocks of petroleum products.

The country has a total of 9,800 petrol pumps out of which the six companies have a network of 6,000 retail outlets.

The remaining oil marketing companies have not been able to import petroleum products due to issues in the opening of LCs to feed the rest of 3,800 retail outlets, The Express Tribune reported.