Pakistan

Oil tankers association ends strike after negotiations with govt

KARACHI: After over 24 hours of petrol shortage in the crisis, the Oil Tankers Owners Association and the government have finally ended a stalemate over increase in sales tax by the latter.

The oil tankers association has announce to end its strike after talks with the government.

However, despite an end of the strike, motorists were seen queued up at most of the petrol stations in the city to get their vehicles fuelled.

Earlier in the morning, the petrol stations owners said they were short of petrol from the suppliers while citizens took exception to their claim and blamed them for creating ‘artificial crisis’ to mint more money.

One of the citizens said “I had no idea that all fuel stations will be shut this morning. It’s a helpless situation. I’ve just got some petrol from friend’s home on my way and it was actually kept for generator’s use. This is unpredictable city I must say,” he said while lashing out at the current petrol crisis.

Meanwhile, Oil Tankers Owners Association has refused to withdraw their strike until government takes back its decision to increase sales tax by 16%.

They said strike would continue countrywide until their demands were met.

Talking to ARY News, spokesperson of the oil tankers body Ali Afridi said Commissioner Karachi and other officials phoned up their representatives. “We told them it is the issue with the federal government who has imposed sales tax.”

He rejected reports of division in the oil tankers association and said their strike was still in place.

In January this year, the huge petrol crisis had hit the country, which drew massive public anger against the government.

The crisis had started when the cash-starved state fuel importer Pakistan State Oil slashed petrol imports by half and skipped overseas fuel oil purchases altogether, worsening power cuts and leading to petrol shortages around the country.

The state importer says it buys up to 90 percent of fuel oil and petrol abroad, but that month it was forced to cut purchases because it had not been paid by its customers on time.

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