Petrol shortage intensifies in Punjab and next in Karachi

LAHORE: The petrol shortage has entered its sixth day as people in Punjab are seen traveling from station to station looking for petrol.

Long queues are being witnessed at the few stations which are open in Islamabad and across Punjab including major cities of Lahore and Multan.
Several residents of Lahore and Islamabad spent their weekends on the roads searching for petrol.

“We left our house at six in the morning for petrol but it is nowhere to be found,” said a resident of Islamabad.

Those who have managed to find petrol complain that it is being sold at inflated prices.

“I paid Rs 200 per litre for petrol which is twice its normal price,” said a resident of Lahore.

Frustrated with the lack of relief people have started protesting outside petrol stations chanting anti-government slogans and seeking the resignation of Petroleum Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi.

PM takes notice

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has taken notice of the petrol shortage and summoned Finance Minister Ishaq Dar to Islamabad on Monday. The prime minister has also ordered a probe against Ministry of Petroleum, PSO Officials, OGRA and private companies.

Prime Minister Sharif has directed that action should be taken against those responsible for this crisis and relief should be provided to people immediately.

Cancelling all his official engagements, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif will chair a meeting on fuel management on Monday. It is expected that the prime minister will take important decisions to bridge the demand-supply gap.

Ministers acknowledge negligence

Two federal ministers have acknowledged the petrol shortage was caused due to the government’s negligence.

Railways Minister Khawaja Saad Rafique said the responsibility for this crisis lies with the Petroleum Ministry. “It is the responsibility of the Petroleum Ministry to preempt such crisis.”

Earlier, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan also held the government responsible stating he felt ashamed when he saw people waiting in long queues for petrol. “This should have never happened and is clear negligence of the government.”