Consumers nationwide are on the brink of a potential petroleum product shortage as oil distributors persist in their strike, demanding increased freight rates, an expanded allocation in the white oil pipeline, and approval to employ older vehicles for oil transport.
The Oil Tankers Contractors Association (OTCA) has expressed apprehensions regarding the “White Pipeline,” a project spanning from Karachi to Mehmoodkot, causing possible disruptions in fuel transportation, particularly for diesel carriers, which could result in as many as 7,000 to 8,000 oil trucks sitting idle.
The President of OTCA, Abidullah Afridi, has articulated their demands, which include requesting a quota allocation from the recently constructed “White Pipeline” and an increase in fares. He emphasized their role as tax-paying business owners who have patiently awaited resolution for five years while also engaging with relevant authorities.
Noman Ali Butt, the Spokesperson for the All Pakistan Oil Contractor Association in the Islamabad Region, said that diesel and petrol supplies have been halted in the twin cities (Islamabad and Rawalpindi), Gilgit Baltistan, and Kashmir. Ongoing verbal communications with the pertinent ministries hold the hope of an upcoming meeting to address grievances, although the strike endures.
Butt detailed the association’s demands, which include an increase in freight rates and an expansion of their quota in the white oil pipeline transportation from 30% to 65%. The association is also advocating for the allowance of older vehicles for oil transportation.
The Oil Companies Advisory Council (OCAC) had previously cautioned the oil ministry about potential disruptions in oil supplies due to the ongoing strike by oil tankers.