Limited Supply Causing Fuel Shortage In The Country
Recently, there is a huge dip in the price of petrol and other petroleum products across the globe. Currently, petrol pumps, especially in Lahore, are limiting the amount of petrol they are giving to customers or not giving petrol at all in some cases. Hi-Octane is available at fuel stations without any interruption. Some retailers are also limiting the provision of fuel to PKR 500 to 1000 to each vehicle in certain parts of the country. The major shortage is of regular petrol also known as motor gasoline in some parts of the world.
On the part of OMCs, they were unable to import fuel at the right time. This delay in imports has created a shortage. Moreover, as per license terms, OMCs also failed to keep an optimal level of fuel at their depots nationwide. In this situation where there is an anticipation of lower supply, panic buying can ensue that can put further pressure on limited supplies. The current shortage will remain for at least 10 days as OMCs need time to import oil and fill up their reserves. OMCs halted lifting up of petrol from local refineries and abroad in anticipation of falling prices to avoid inventory losses.
Before the supply chain of petroleum products improves, it will take a few days for a shortage of supply in the country. OMCs have also reportedly halted lifted petroleum products from local oil refineries. the All Pakistan Petroleum Retailers Association (APPRA) has asked the state authorities to investigate the shortage of supply of petroleum products and fix any gaps as soon as possible. According to the APPRA, all OMCs, except PSO, have delayed the import of oil which is a clear violation of license terms that require them to maintain a certain level of stock.
The delay in the import of petroleum products has also robbed the government of billions of rupees. In the current situation, the OMCs have significantly reduced the supply of petroleum products to filling stations. This has created a shortage and the filling stations cannot effectively meet the demands of the customers. There are concerns that this shortage can be troubling for the transportation sector. This will also result in an increase in fares. Retailers already faced losses in the time of lockdown. A further shortage of fuel can inflict more losses upon them. Therefore, petroleum products must be imported as soon as possible to stop fuel shortage.
A new pricing formula can solve this problem. This new formula will be applicable to oil marketing companies, oil refineries, and retailers owning the filling stations. On the other hand, PSO has adequate reserves to meet the demand of its customers nationwide. Fuel is available at PSO retailers nationwide and PSO has also imported petroleum products recently in teh vicinity of 58,000 MT. There will be more shipments during this month as well.
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