Millennium Post

Pakistan’s petrol crisis to end within a week: Minister

A spurt in demand for petrol after a sharp 20 per cent decrease in prices led to its shortage in Pakistan and the crisis will be resolved within a week, Petroleum Minister has said amid nationwide protests.

Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said the major cause behind the fuel’s shortage was an increase in its demand after more than 20 per cent decrease in the oil prices in the last two months. He said the oil supply was increased by 30 per cent in the country, including by over “50 per cent in Islamabad and Rawalpindi, and 100 per cent in Lahore”. Abbasi said the artificial shortage will be resolved within a week and announced a further rate cut next month.

The shortages began earlier last week and peaked by the weekend, triggering protests and relentless criticism of the government as TV footages showed hundreds of people with cars and motorbikes lining up at fuel stations to get petrol.

PM Nawaz Sharif on Monday chaired a high-level meeting to resolve the crisis, and directed the Ministry of Water and Power to immediately work to reduce line losses and clear other liabilities. Taking responsibility for the shortages, Abbasi said he was “ashamed” on behalf of the government.

“The Prime Minister showed his extreme displeasure over the difficulties being faced by the people due to the non- availability of fuel,” a statement of the premier house said.


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