PM directs punitive action against those who are responsible for fake oil shortage

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ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan has directed that maximum punitive action must be taken against all those responsible for artificial shortage of petrol in the country and ordered authorities concerned to ensure regular supplies within two to three days.
The Prime Minister gave these instructions, while chairing a meeting of the federal cabinet here on Tuesday.
Taking notice of the artificial shortage of petrol, the cabinet noted that OGRA and Petroleum Division have legal authority to physically enter and inspect oil companies’ storage facilities.
The cabinet directed Petroleum Ministry to form joint raiding teams comprising representatives of Petroleum Division, OGRA, FIA and district administrations. The teams shall inspect all petrol depots and storage. They have all authority to enter any site and anyone found involved in hoarding shall face full force of law, including arrest and forced release of such stores.
Besides, any company found not maintaining the mandatory stocks and supply to its outlets, as per their license, shall face punitive actions, including suspension and cancellation of license and heavy fines.
The Prime Minister directed that the Petroleum Division and OGRA will take all actions necessary to ensure regular supplies within 48-72 hours.
Ministry of Energy informed the cabinet that total supplies in June last year were 650,000 metric tons while supplies arranged 850,000 metric tons for June this year.
The cabinet urged the public not to engage in panic buying as the stocks that are being hoarded will be identified and ensured to be available in the market and action be taken against hoarders.
The Prime Minister directed the petroleum minister and OGRA to ensure that every oil marketing company maintains 21 days stock to meet its license conditions.
Federal Minister for Energy Omar Ayub told the cabinet that some companies stopped buying of petrol after an increase of $12 in the global market. “The oil companies which ended the stock, we are cancelling their licenses,” said the minister.
Meanwhile, the cabinet meeting held under the chair of Imran Khan has concluded in Islamabad on Tuesday where principal decision to privatise Pakistan Steel Mills has been taken.
The federal cabinet has formally agreed upon Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) suggestion to privatise the mega firm.
The federal cabinet will go ahead with the privitization and provide a golden handshake to its employees.
The Prime Minister, Imran Khan has issued special directions saying that although national interest is of primary importance but mill employees must also be compensated in the best way possible.
A key member of the provincial cabinet and close aide to chief minister, Saeed Ghani also vowed on June 7 to protect rights of over 9,000 PSM workers, who were being laid off under a proposed plan.
“We are against the retrenchment of 9,500 workers of Steel Mill and the PPP will protect these employees at every forum,” Sindh Education Minister Saeed Ghani told a press conference along with labour leaders Shamshad Qureshi and Habib Junaidi.
“The government is eyeing the land of steel mills worth billions of rupees. But everyone should be clear about it. This land belongs to the Sindh government and we will not allow them to take this land. The Sindh government had in the past raised its voice against the privatization and we will not remain silent this time as well. We are with workers not with capitalists.”
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Imran Khan has said that awareness about coronavirus should be spread among the people because considering the economic situation of the country, a nationwide lockdown is not possible.
During the federal cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Imran Khan, he was briefed on the current situation of coronavirus in the country.
On this occasion, Prime Minister Imran Khan said that the role of leadership is important in the current situation. He said that a section of society still has misconceptions about the virus, so there is a need to dispel these misconceptions from their minds.
“Given the country’s economic situation, lockdown is not possible because while we are at risk from corona, poverty is an equally big challenge,” he said. Instead of creating unrest in the society, we have to face this situation while keeping the right balance.
Imran Khan said that the spread of coronavirus can be curtailed by taking precautionary measures and the public should be encouraged to fully embrace them while authorities should strictly enforce SOPs.
It is to be noted that the number of coronavirus victims in Pakistan has started increasing rapidly; the number of confirmed cases in the country has reached 108,317 while 105 people died in one day after which the number of deaths rose to 2,172. – TLTP, NNI