Petroleum dealers in Pakistan have issued a stern warning of a nationwide shutdown of filling stations in protest of the government’s failure to increase their profit margins. Petroleum dealers made the decision to strike because the government broke its promise to increase their profit margins, leaving them bitterly disappointed with the existing state of affairs.
Chairman of the Pakistan Petroleum Dealers Association (PPDA), Abdul Sami Khan, expressed his frustration over the government’s inability to honor their written agreement, which had set a deadline of September 1 for the profit margin increase.
Mr. Sami Khan pointed out that the government, in conjunction with other stakeholders, had previously signed a written agreement with his association. Unfortunately, the government has not complied with its pledge to raise profit margins.
“We are unable to sustain our filling stations with the current dealer margins,” he stated, highlighting a significant increase in operational costs. He cautioned that if the government did not raise the profit margin, a complete nationwide shutdown of filling stations could be imminent.
Back in July, Pakistan’s petroleum dealers had postponed their nationwide shutdown strike following assurances from the then-State Minister for Petroleum, Musadik Malik. An agreement was reached and signed by the minister, OGRA Chairman Masoor Khan, and PPDA Chairman Abdul Sami Khan.
Previously, the dealers had issued a warning of indefinitely closing their petrol pumps after the outgoing government failed to fulfill its promise of increasing their profit margins to 5%, equivalent to Rs12/litre based on current petrol and diesel prices.
Notably, the interim administration has raised the cost of gasoline by Rs 14.9 per litre, raising the price to Rs 305.36 per litre. In addition, the cost of high-speed diesel (HSD) rose by Rs 18.44 per litre, to Rs 311.84.
Pakistan’s petroleum dealers are steadfast in their desire for higher profit margins, and if the government does not swiftly address their concerns, a statewide strike could be impending. As the two parties negotiate this divisive matter, the atmosphere is still heated.