- Several fuel stations remain closed, refuse to sell petrol on reduced price of Rs 94, say will sell petrol at previous prices until their current stock end
- DCO says govt will take action against pumps not complying with orders, says five petrol stations have been sealed, three arrested in this regard
The massive relief given to the masses in prices of petroleum products has seemingly not gone down well with owners of petrol filling stations as most fuel outlets in Lahore remained closed on Saturday as they refused to sell petrol on the government’s set price of Rs 94.
A large number of people were seen shuttling between filling stations all day long in search for petrol, while pump owners asserted that they would sell petrol at the previous prices until their current stock finished.
A manager of a petrol filling station on Ferozepur Road said that they had shut down the outlet as “it was hard to bear financial loss arising out of the sudden decrease in prices”.
Similar situations were reported from various cities of the province as petrol pump owners in Faisalabad, Multan, Bahawalpur, Sialkot and other cities also shut down their pumps in protest against price reduction.
Agitated citizens, meanwhile, told Pakistan Today in Lahore that they were being made to suffer needlessly as media had been reporting about the proposed reduction in prices at least 10 days before the government actually announced the decision.
“The filling stations should have cleared their petrol stocks well in time before the prices were revised by the government. By keeping their stations closed, how are the owners covering their losses?” said Ali Tariq, a banker by profession who was turned away by the filling station’s employees at Queen’s Road.
Muhammad Sajid, a transporter, said that he had visited three filling stations and all of them had told him that they were out of supplies.
“The government should have pre-empted this artificial fuel shortage by implementing stricter checks on filling stations,” he said.
Talking to Pakistan Today, District Coordination Officer Capt (r) Usman said the government would take action against petrol filling stations not complying with the government’s set price.
He said that five petrol stations had been sealed for selling petrol at a higher price while an owner of a petrol station and two managers were arrested for ignoring the government’s directive.
Punjab government’s spokesman Zaeem Hussain Qadri said that steps were being taken to pass on benefits of deduction in prices of petroleum products to the common man.
He said that special checking squads headed by DCOs have been constituted throughout the province to thwart filling station owners’ attempts to create artificial fuel shortage.
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