All Pakistan Oil Tankers Association (APOTA) has threatened to go on a countrywide strike again if the prevailing regulatory issues are not resolved by the government in the next couple of days.
Speaking at a press conference in Karachi, APOTA Chairman Yousuf Shahwani said that the supplies of petroleum products will be ceased again by oil tankers if the government does not fix the issue regarding the specifications of the wheel axle in oil tankers.
According to him, more than 3,000 oil tankers associated with different Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) were declared as unfit by Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA). Following that, these tankers were not allowed to supply petroleum products countrywide in spite of the fact these tankers were given a period of next five years to meet the prescribed standards of the wheel axle.
He added that the government authorities are reluctant to review the request of oil tankers for the clearance of their heavy vehicles which has caused a deadlock between the oil tankers’ association, OGRA and the National Highway Authority (NHA).
The association will hold its extraordinary meeting with stakeholders and officer bearers to announce a new line of action against the government and authorities, he said.
“APOTA has given a deadline of August 21 to the government to resolve the matter, otherwise there will be an announcement for a countrywide strike by the Oil Tankers Association,” Shahwani added.
Different issues propped up with the association and the government in the recent past – in July and March – which resulted in the slowdown of supplies of petroleum products to petrol pumps. This led to a shortage of oil and caused many inconveniences to businesses and public at large.
The business community and economists opined that the federal and provincial governments should amicably resolve the issue with the association to keep the cycle of the economy running.
They also mentioned that the shortage of petroleum products ends up costing billions to the economy in just a few hours.