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Petroleum dealers announce countrywide strike on 25th

KARACHI: The Pakistan Petroleum Dealers Association (PPDA) has announced a countrywide strike on November 25 as they are “not interested in selling petrol on low-profit margins.

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

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

The PPDA spokesperson added that the strike could extend for an “unspecified period” if the government continued to give false consolation. This is the second strike call from the association in less than three weeks. They had made a similar announcement for November 5 but withdrew after a government team agreed to increase their margins on the sale of petroleum products by 6 per cent within a few days.

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

However, things remain in stalemate two weeks after the agreement.”The petrol dealers have been in a financial ‘tatters’ on the high cost of business and low margin of returns,” PPDA Chairman Abdul Sami Khan had told a joint news conference held at Karachi Press Club’s auditorium on November 3. He said that the government guarantees only two per cent of margin on sales of fuel oil in the face of rising electricity tariffs.

“We demand the government to cancel our petrol pumps licences,” he said, adding that “nearly 50 per cent of the petrol pumps will close down permanently with licence 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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