The Pakistan Petroleum Dealers Association (PPDA) has called a nation-wide strike on November 25 to protest selling fuel at a “low profit margin” as a result of which people panicked and rushed to petrol pumps out of fear of a shortage.
“Pakistan State Oil (PSO) has decided to keep its company operative and petrol pumps open during the strike,” PSO said.
Petrol retailers said that pumps have been crowded since Tuesday because petrol will not be available to the public from Thursday, 6 am.
Muhammad Shoaib Sarwar, a petrol retailer, with two petrol pumps located in Punjab, said both of them will be closed for the strike.
Sarwar added, however, that 5% of pumps may remain open as they are earning enough profit to make a margin. “However, we are negotiating with those retailers and trying to take them into confidence,” he added.
Sarwar said that some petrol retailers are afraid of crowd control as they don’t have enough staff to deal with anxious customers.
Pakistan Petroleum Dealers Association’s Information Secretary Khawaja Atif Ahmad said that as the government hasn’t increased their margin yet, they would call a country-wide strike from Thursday and it would continue for an unspecified period.
Only ambulances will be able to get petrol from Thursday, Ahmad said.
It should be mentioned that the dealers had threatened to go on strike throughout the country with effect from November 5 against the government’s delay in increasing their margins.