Petroleum products in short supply in Pakistan after government cuts prices

Consumers in Pakistan are facing a shortage of petrol, oil and lubricant (POL) products, after Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif announced a price cut on POL products on 31 Jan. 2015.

Petrol prices were reduced by INR7.99 (USD0.13) per litre, and high octane was cut by INR11.83 (USD0.19) per litre. Prices of kerosene, high-speed diesel and light diesel fuel were also reduced.

Petrol pumps in many cities remained closed, claiming non-availability of products. Additionally, consumers in rural areas complained that retailers were selling petrol at old prices. More than half the stations in Faisalabad, Dera Ghazi Khan and Bhakkar were closed. In Sargodha, at least 12 people were arrested for fabricating the POL shortage in the city.

The Petroleum Ministry maintains that there is no petroleum crisis, as currently there is more supply than demand, it said. A spokesman for the ministry said that 14,728 metric tonnes of oil is being supplied daily when the average consumption is only 12,000 tonnes. The spokesman also said that in the month of February, 11 ships are scheduled to reach Pakistan, carrying 350,000 metric tonnes of oil.

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