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Pakistan: Islamabad, Rawalpindi may face fuel shortage after oil tankers' strike halts supply

The association of oil tankers are currently holding negotiations in Karachi, and if they fail, the cities might witness a shortage of petrol and diesel.

Edited By: Aveek Banerjee Islamabad Published on: September 19, 2023 13:06 IST
Pakistan is reeling from massive hike in fuel prices
Image Source : PIXABAY/REPRESENTATIVE IMAGE Pakistan is reeling from massive hike in fuel prices

As Pakistan is battling a massive price hike in fuel prices, supply has been suspended in the twin cities of Islamabad and Rawalpindi after the Oil Tankers Contractors Association (OTCA) went on strike, threatening a fuel shortage in the near future.

The association's spokesperson Noman Ali Butt on Monday said that the oil tankers stopped the supply of fuel in the two key cities of Pakistan. It has demanded a quota from the white petroleum pipeline and fares should be increased, Dawn reported.

"We are businessmen, and we pay taxes to the government. We remained silent for five years in the interest of the country... we also presented our issues to the authorities concerned." Butt said.

If the negotiations failed to make a breakthrough in Karachi, a shortage of diesel and petrol will emerge in Rawalpindi and Islamabad, as petrol filling stations had fuel just enough for the next two or three days, the spokesperson further said.

Pakistan fuel crisis

Pakistan, which is already facing massive economic turbulence,? announced announced price hike of petrol by Rs 26.02 and diesel by Rs 17.34 per litre following clearance from caretaker Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar. After the hike, petrol and high-speed diesel (HSD) are costing over Rs 330 at the filling stations.

The rise is on top of Rs 32.41 and Rs 38.49 per litre increase in petrol and HSD prices since August 15. The combined increase now works out at Rs 58.43 and Rs 55.83 per litre within one month. Petrol and diesel have become costlier by 20 per cent since the caretaker government took over in August. On September 1, the caretaker government had jacked up the petrol and diesel prices by over Rs 14.

The caretaker government in Pakistan has come under fire as several political parties criticised the price hike, saying that the population is already suffering from rising inflation and dwindling purchasing power.?

Former Prime Minister Imran Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) claimed that the price hike was a "conspiracy" to instigate "civil war" in the country and called it "a cruel blow" for people below the poverty line who are already struggling with rising prices of essential goods.

Pakistan’s economy has been in a free fall mode for the last many years, bringing untold pressure on the poor masses in the form of unchecked inflation, making it almost impossible for a vast number of people to make ends meet.

ALSO READ |?Pakistan: Caretaker govt under fire after fuel prices reach record-high levels

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