Pakistan’s petrol traders will join a national strike on Thursday, accusing the Imran Khan-led government of failing to increase retailers’ profits, the Pakistan Petroleum Dealers Association (PPDA) said.
Although the PPDA did not say when the strike would end, association chairman Abdul Sami Khan said it would begin at 6 a.m. (local time) on Thursday, according to Dawn.
Releasing the handout, the PPDA said a meeting of petroleum retailers was held in Lahore on November 20, where it was revealed that the Pakistani government would raise interest rates three years ago.
The PPDA added that the above promise has not been fulfilled and it is becoming increasingly difficult for retailers to run petrol stations due to rising inflation and rising fuel prices, Dawn reported.
Traders had previously announced a strike on November 5 but withdrew after a government team met with them on November 3 to meet their demands.
The meeting led to the establishment of a task team to ensure the implementation of the interest rate increase agreement approved by the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) and the state cabinet on November 15, Dawn reported.
According to one statement, the government agreed to increase the profit margin by 6% and demanded a deadline of November 17 to implement the decision. But the government looks serious about the decision, the statement said.
Meanwhile, the day before the strike, traffic jams were reported in major Pakistani cities including Islamabad, Rawalpindi and Karachi. Videos and posters on social media showed long queues at these gas stations as people rushed to refuel their vehicles.
Pakistan’s fuel department has confirmed that car fuel will be available at all supermarkets – Pakistan State Oil (PSO), Shell and Total stations across the country. A spokesman for the department said a summary of the increase in the value of petrol retailers had been submitted to the ECC, Dawn reported. The department is working to raise the bar and Cabinet will soon take a decision.
The Pakistani economy is currently experiencing a sharp inflation, current account deficits, a decline in currency history and a decline in foreign islands. Amid growing economic challenges, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has agreed to revive the $ 6 billion funding program in Pakistan.