Pakistan minister confirms 'adequate' fuel supplies, with a warning to companies | World News - Hindustan Times
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Pakistan minister confirms 'adequate' fuel supplies, with a warning to companies

By | Edited by Chandrashekar Srinivasan
Feb 09, 2023 12:40 PM IST

Pakistan fuel shortage: Musadik Malik, Pak's petroleum minister, told reporters the government had enough fuel stocks for the rest of this month

The Pakistan government - struggling with external debts in excess of $130 billion - on Wednesday said it is not planning to hike fuel prices and that it has enough stock for at least 20 days. Prime minister Shehbaz Sharif's administration also warned oil companies against stockpiling after reports people were not able to purchase fuel surfaced on social media.

 People wait for their turn to get fuel at a petrol station in Peshawar, (REUTERS)
People wait for their turn to get fuel at a petrol station in Peshawar, (REUTERS)

Musadik Malik, Pak's petroleum minister, told reporters the government had enough fuel stocks for the rest of this month, and that shortages faced by consumers were due to oil companies' stockpiling. "I am requesting and warning companies... licenses will be taken away," he said.

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A member of Pak's Oil Companies Advisory Council's (OCAC) said only a few firms were licensed to sell petrol; several others were not due to financial problems, the report added.

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"While the petroleum ministry is helping process letters of credits to import fuels, the country's low foreign exchange reserves and artificial curbs remain a hindrance," he added.

Abdul Sami Khan, the chairman of the Pakistan Petroleum Dealers Association, said consumers were facing shortages because of oil cos not supplying adequate stock. "Consumers think we're not giving them fuel and they blame us..." he said.

Inflation in Pak is at a multi-decade high of 27.6 per cent. The government is negotiating a deal with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) but the depreciating value of the Pakistani rupee is pushing up the price of imported goods. The government raised fuel prices by 15 per cent last month, shortly before talks with the IMF delegation began.

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