ISLAMABAD: Sale of high-speed diesel (HSD) has witnessed a massive decline by approximately 150,000 tonnes per month in June, July and August 2018 in the country while concerned authorities have maintained silence on the matter, Pakistan Today has reliably learnt.
HSD is mostly consumed in tractors, trucks, buses, generators, thermal power stations etc of the country. However, complaints pertaining to the sale of adulterated diesel are on the rise these days from major parts of the country. Transporters are worried as engines of their vehicles are being damaged due to the open sale of sub-standard diesel while the sale of poor quality diesel is causing heavy losses to businesses and the national exchequer as well.
Sources in the Oil Companies Advisory Council (OCAC) have disclosed that the sale of diesel (HSD) had registered a huge decrease in the last three months (June, July and August) as a reduction in the sale of HSD was around 150,000 tonnes per month which caused heavy losses to the national exchequer. They said that despite a reduction in the sale of diesel, concerned authorities remained in deep slumber.
So far, neither the OCAC nor the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) and Director General (DG) Oil, Energy Ministry’s Petroleum Division has taken any concrete action/measure to permanently resolve the problem, said sources.
The sources also said that the sale of poor quality/substandard diesel said three months was and even at present is on the rise in various parts of the country. They said besides the smuggling of Irani oil, substandard diesel was being imported to the country on mis-declaration. Also, a carbon chemical was being imported for use as diesel after mixing of kerosene oil.
Though mixing in diesel is being done at various places of the country especially at Sher Shah, Multan and is being transported to various parts of the country including Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Azad Jammu and Kashmir. However, Customs Intelligence is not taking notice of this menace, said sources.
Attock Refinery Limited Chief Executive Officer Adil Khattak has said that Eid holidays coupled with a downward trend of price had mainly contributed to decreasing the sale of diesel in the past. He said a decline in the sale was also because petrol pumps had presented less demand apparently to avoid loss due to declining trend of diesel price while due to Eid ul Azha transport also went on long holidays that contributed to a meagre sale of diesel in the past. Smuggling of poor quality Irani diesel and petrol sometimes increases in the country which causes a decrease in the sale of diesel and petrol, said Adil Khattak.
OGRA’s spokesperson, Imran Ghaznavi, when contacted to get official comments on the matter, said that the supply and demand is being looked into by the DG Oil Ministry of Energy Petroleum division. However regular inspections are being made to check the quality and other related issues in the sale of petroleum products and on violation actions are being taken according to OGRA Ordinance.
When asked what is the figure of the monthly sale of HSD in the country and, what OGRA has so far done following complaints about the ongoing sale of poor quality/substandard and adulterated diesel (HSD) in parts of the country, the spokesman replied that DG Oil will provide the sale figure. As far as complaints are concerned, OGRA in such cases proceeding according to the ordinance.
South Asia remains a net importer of oil. Almost all regional countries import heavily to meet commercial, industrial and transportation needs. Pakistan, for example, meets 70 per cent of its total consumption through imports. The rest is met through local production.
It is relevant to mention that complete figures pertain to the sale of diesel in June, July and August 2018 were not available on OCAC website as figures of only one month of June 2018 were available on the website.
Sale of HSD in June 2018 stood at 594,786 metric tons, said OCAC website.
As per the OCAC website, total refinery production of POL products including Kerosene, motor spirit, Light Diesel Oil, Furnace Oil etc from July 2017 to May 2018 was 10,741,386 tons and HSD production from local refineries was 4,792, 817 tons. Similarly, during the one month of July 2018, total production of POL products was 990, 225 tons and only HSD was 434,998 tons. More, figures regarding the production of diesel in the month of August 2018 were not available on the said website.
It is worth mentioning that HSD imported in July was 188,503 metric tons while 171, 902 MT in August 2018 and in this way total 360,405MT of HSD from July to August 2018.
Despite repeated attempts via phone calls on his personal cell phone number and sending Whatsapp text messages to get official words from Director General Oil Jabbar Memon but he chose not to respond and all attempts remained in vain.