Petroleum dealers announce countrywide strike over low profit margins on Nov 25

The Pakistan Petroleum Dealers Association (PPDA) have announced a countrywide strike for November 25 over selling petrol “on low profit margins”.

A spokesperson for the association said that all petrol pumps across the country will remain closed on Thursday, November 25.

“We have no other option but to go on strike as the government has failed to meet the November 17 deadline for the fulfilment of our demands,” the spokesperson said, adding that the petrol pumps in Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan will also remain shut on Thursday.

He said the strike could extend to an “unspecified period” if the government continues to ignore the association’s demands and keeps on giving it “false consolation”.

This is the second time that the association has given a call for a strike in three weeks. They had made a similar announcement for November 5 but withdrew after a government team agreed to increase margins on the sale of petroleum products by 6% within a few days.

The meeting also agreed to constitute a committee under petroleum secretary Dr Arshad Mahmood to ensure the implementation of the agreement through approvals from the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) and the federal cabinet over the next 10 days.

PPDA Chairman Abdul Sami Khan said petroleum dealers have been in a difficult position due to the high cost of business and low margins. He said that the government guarantees a margin of only 2% on sales of fuel oil in the face of rising electricity tariffs.

“We demand the government to cancel our petrol pumps licenses,” he said, adding that “nearly 50% of the petrol pumps will close down permanently with license cancellation as no one will reapply for acquisition”.

“Immediate increase on ex-depot price in dealers’ margin for HSD and MS without burdening common people and without increasing prices of petroleum products, absorbing dealers’ margin increase by reducing Sales Tax and PDL,” he demanded.

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