Karachi

Oil tankers association announces countrywide strike

OGRA

KARACHI: Perturbed by issues relating unfair attitude and imposition of unwarranted taxes, All Pakistan Oil Tankers Association (APOTA) announced to go on countrywide strike from Monday evening in protest.

The oil supply from the metropolis ports Bin Qasim and City Port has been almost suspended.

The strike call has been given over prevailing issues such as the extraneous safety rules imposed by the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) and unfair attitude of Motorway Police towards the oil-tankers drivers, APOTA Chairman Mir Yousuf Shahwani said.

He said the decision has been taken to protest against the attitude of authorities and hike in fines levied by the Motorway police.

“Oil tankers pay three-months advance taxes to the government but in return they get no relief,” Shahwani lamented, adding that the authorities have unfair attitude towards them.

In addition to all this, the Motorway police have been bent on levying unwarranted penalties. The patrolling police have also been harassing the oil tanker owners in Punjab while the excise police in Sindh indulged in extortion by threatening the oil-tankers owners, he further said.

He also said that there has been no meeting between the heads of OGRA, oil marketing companies and the oil-tankers association since the petroleum ministry has handed over such matters to be addressed by the oil regulatory body.

“The oil-tankers association is not taken into confidence in decision making rather than the decisions made behind closed doors are imposed upon us,” he remarked.

The association chairman vowed to continue their strike until their demands are not met. “The association members have decided to suspend the oil supply to fuel stations in protest for an indefinite period,” he said.

Meanwhile, the oil regulatory body has decided to implement the strict safety rules after horrific oil-tanker incident in Ahmedpur Sharqia that claimed lives of over 200 people.

AHMEDPUR SHARQIA INFERNO 

It is to be mentioned here that at least 169 people were burnt to death and dozens of others injured after a fuel tanker overturned and exploded outside the eastern city of Bahawalpur in Punjab province.

The incident occurred on Sunday morning as a large number of people gathered to collect petrol from the vehicle, according to rescue services. Residents could be seen walking past blackened and twisted bodies piled by the side of the road.

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