The Pakistan Petroleum Dealers Association (PPDA) announced on Thursday nationwide strike on July 22 to seek hike in profit margins shrank by skyrocketing inflation.
In a statement on Thursday, the association of nearly 10,000 members said it will shut down all petrol pumps across the country on July 22 at 6pm.
It blamed the petroleum ministry for countrywide strike saying the authorities did not pay heed to their demands.
The official statement further added that interest rates and inflation have hit fuel pump operators’ businesses and called for the dealership margin to be increased.
It said sales have slumped by 30% due to Iranian fuel being smuggled into the country.
The association said supply of petrol will remain suspended until the reservations are addressed.
Pakistan is dealing with a weakening currency and a prolonged period of inflation with the national rate hitting 29.4% in June, down from a record high of 38% in May.
Earlier in May, Pakistan’s oil industry had sought Rs12/litre margin on high speed diesel (HSD) and Mogas (petrol) for oil marketing companies (OMCs) in view of the high cost of doing business, which has created financial hardships.
On April 30, 2022 petroleum review, the OMCs margin on HSD was Rs6.50/litre whereas it was Rs6/litre on Mogas. Apart from the OMCs’ margin, dealers were charging Rs7/litre margin on HSD and Mogas
The oil industry has been facing severe challenges since last year because of increased cost of doing business. The reasons vary from increased fuel prices in the international market and exchange rate to increased interest rates (leading to inventory holding cost of around Rs3/litre), credit letter confirmation charges leading to higher demurrages, and high turnover tax (0.5 percent) etc.
The oil body pointed out that the margin for HSD and Mogas has been revised to Rs6/litre during the current year based on the decision taken by the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) dated October 31, 2022; however, the same is insufficient and needs to be reviewed urgently.