Petrol crisis: PM Imran wants culprits to be arrested, licences cancelled

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan issued directives to be taken against the Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) found responsible for the ‘artificial’ petrol crisis on Thursday, saying that those found guilty of hoarding should be arrested.  

The sources told The News that the petroleum crisis was declared artificial in the country. The report on this crisis has been submitted to the prime minister and the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra) held the Petroleum Division responsible for the crisis.

According to the report, nine OMCs created the crisis deliberately. DG Oil Dr Shafi Afridi and Petroleum Division officials failed in discharging their duties, the report added. PM Imran directed initiation of action against companies and those found responsible in petroleum crisis besides arresting the culprits who were found guilty of supplying hoarded petrol to the market.

He warned that the petroleum crisis will not be tolerated at any cost. The licenses of the companies involved in the petroleum crisis be suspended and revoked, he said. It may be made binding on all oil marketing companies to ensure oil is stocked by them for 21 days.

Government agrees to reach out to BNP-M

Meanwhile, the federal government decided that it would reach out to the Balochistan National Party-Mengal (BNP-M) to address its grievances. The decision was taken in a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Imran Khan here in Islamabad. Defence Minister Pervaiz Khattak, Minister for Planning Asad Umar, Speaker National Assembly Asad Qaiser, Minister for Education Shafqat Mehmood and Adviser to PM on Parliamentary Affairs Babar Awan attended the meeting.

During the meeting, PM Imran directed the government negotiation team to remove the reservations of PTI-led government allies, including the BNP-M. In this connection, the prime minister tasked Khattak to meet with representatives of disgruntled allies and address their concerns. The government negotiation team briefed the prime minister about the dialogues and contacts made with BNP-Mengal, who then directed the team to formally restart negotiations with BNP-M. The meeting agreed that all allies of government are important and their reservations will be addressed.

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