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Pakistan’s petroleum dealers to launch nationwide strike today

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Pakistan's petroleum dealers to launch nationwide strike today

The Pakistan Petroleum Dealers Association (PPDA) stated that Pakistan’s oil dealers will hold a nationwide strike on Thursday, accusing Imran Khan’s government of failing to increase dealer’s profit margins.

According to a reporter, although PPDA did not mention when the strike will end, the chairman of the association Abdul Samihan stated that the strike will begin at 6 am local time on Thursday.

PPDA issued a handout stating that an oil dealer meeting was held in Lahore on November 20, and it was pointed out at the meeting that the Pakistani government would increase profit margins three years ago.

PPDA added that the aforementioned promises have not been fulfilled. Due to increased inflation and rising petroleum product prices, it has become difficult for distributors to operate gas stations, the Liming Report also said.

Previously, the dealers announced a strike on November 5, but withdrew the strike after a government delegation met with them on November 3 to meet their demands.

The meeting led to the formation of a team to ensure that the agreement to increase profitability through the approval of the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) and the Federal Cabinet is implemented by November 15, Liming further reported.

According to another statement, the government agreed to increase the profit margin by 6% and strive to implement the decision by November 17. But the statement added that the government does not seem to take this decision seriously.

At the same time, on the day before the strike, it was reported that major cities in Pakistan, including Islamabad, Rawalpindi and Karachi, were experiencing traffic congestion. Videos and posts on social media show long lines at gas stations in these cities and people rushing to refuel vehicles.

The Ministry of Petroleum of Pakistan has guaranteed that all major sales points will provide vehicle fuel-Pakistan National Oil Company (PSO), Shell and all stations across the country. A department spokesperson stated that a summary to improve the profitability of oil distributors has been sent to ECC. The Ministry is working hard to increase profit margins, and the Federal Cabinet will make a decision soon.

Pakistan’s economy is currently struggling to cope with high inflation, current account deficits, historical currency devaluations and reduced foreign exchange reserves. In the face of increasingly severe economic challenges, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has agreed to resume the stalled US$6 billion Pakistani financing plan.

News Source: Hindustan Times

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