The ongoing fuel shortage, especially of gasoline, has caused serious difficulties to businesses and citizens for the fifth consecutive day across Pakistan, local media reported on Friday.
Video footages telecasted at local Urdu TV channels showed long queues of motor riders at fuel stations to fill their vehicles’ tanks.
According to local media reports, the fuel shortage started because of the stopped or minimised supplies to fuel stations by the private oil companies after the central government reduced fuel prices on Monday.
Majority of the fuel stations across the country, including in the major cities of Karachi, Lahore, Quetta, Faisalabad and Rawalpindi, have been closed by the owners to avoid people’s rage.
The fuel stations, which have the stock of petrol, have increased the price of the commodity by more than 100 per cent, the reports said.
Earlier on Thursday, the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA), the regulator of the oil business in the country, issued a statement saying that there was no shortage of gasoline and the country’s oil stocks are sufficient and it is trying to know the reason behind the slow supplies.
The regulator also issued show-cause notices to oil marketing companies, seeking explanations and reasons for the petrol shortage at the fuel stations.
However, the fuel stations association and the public rejected the claims made by OGRA and said that majority of the fuel stations have no gasoline at all and oil companies are running short of the stocks.
The Competition Commission of Pakistan has initiated an inquiry into the issue, saying that the sudden shortage of fuel across the country, at a time when the government has reduced prices and low demand due to the COVID-19 pandemic, raised suspicion that artificial shortage might have been created.