Pakistani oil dealers launch nationwide strike against lower profit margins, South Asia News | Instant News


Pakistani oil dealers launched a nationwide protest against the government on Thursday for failing to increase their profit margins.

Several privately owned gas stations were closed across the country in response to calls by the Pakistan Oil Dealers Association (PPDA).

According to the PPDA leaflet, a gasoline dealers meeting was held at the Faletti Hotel in Lahore on Saturday, where it was mentioned that the government had promised to increase dealer profit margins three years ago.

“That promise has remained unfulfilled to date… [and] now, because [growing] inflation and rising prices of petroleum products, it becomes difficult for dealers to run fuel stations,” reads the press release.

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However, the association did not say when the strike would end, according to the Dawn newspaper.

Retailers have been seeking a nine-rupee hike, which the government has been reluctant to do.

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Pakistan’s energy minister Hammad Azhar emphatically said that only “legitimate demands” would be accepted and warned that those seeking a nine-rupee hike would face disappointment.

The minister asked the traders to reconsider, saying that their protests are troubling the public.

However, he stressed that the government would not accept any illegitimate demands.

“Some groups want to use this strike to get a nine rupee raise,” the minister was quoted as saying by Dawn.

“An increase of nine rupiahs cannot be given only to benefit a few companies. Lawful demands will be accepted, illegal ones will not,” said the minister.

Meanwhile, a meeting is taking place between representatives from all major oil marketing companies, oil dealers and petroleum division officials.

(With input from the agency)

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