ISLAMABAD - Blatantly flouting the prescribed rules and regulations, the oil firms are neither declaring their guaranteed source of oil supply nor maintaining the mandatory storage facilities, The Nation has reliably learnt. The oil firms are continuing to dawdle and paying little heed to the need for mandatory storage facilities and sustainable source of fuel, sources said on Monday. Though all the OMCs were directed to complete the construction of storage facilities within six months, failing which their license would be cancelled, and Ogra was advised accordingly, but, the marketing companies are continuously showing laxity as most of them have not embarked upon construction of storage facilities and are found ostensibly reluctant to declare sources of guaranteed sources of fuel supply to the authority (Ogra). It might be worthy to mention here that absence of adoption of agreed appropriate measures for smooth and ensured supply of fuel by OMCs had played key role in creating artificial shortage of petrol and a serious crisis during the month of June in the country. Ogra has imposed serious sanctions on eight OMCs for the establishment of new petrol pumps, sources informed this scribe, adding, that sanctions were enforced due to absence of guaranteed sources of supply and mandatory fuel storage facilities. Sources were of the view that these sanctions would be lifted after complete adoption of those rules and regulations necessary for holding license by these OMCs. These OMCs, which had opened 1600 petrol pumps in the country, will face latest severe sanctions imposed by the authority. The OMCs are: Total Parco, Attock Petroleum, Admore, Hescol, Bico, Oscar, OTC, and Pak Re, sources added. Official sources requesting anonymity while talking to The Nation confirmed the imposition of sanctions and informed that notices have been issued to them. They said that these OMCs have been assigned to achieve certain targets to avoid any further untoward situation. It is testimony of the fact that last week while imposing hefty fines worth Rs61 lakh on six OMCs on account of violation of rules and regulations regarding maintaining of required oil storage facilities. OGRA had asked OMCs to provide details of their petrol pumps and storage facilities in the country within twenty days. These six OMCs were Admore, Bico, Oscar, OTC, Pak Re and Hescol. Further, official response, especially prepared to cater to the volley of questions posed in a Public Accounts Committee (PAC) meeting last month, unveiled that PSO, Shell and Chevron were maintaining low stocks because of circular debt, receivables, PDC from the government while other OMCs did not build storages as per their license conditions. Additionally, according to details made available through market sources, Admore owns eight outlets in AJK, Hascol has three outlets, Ootcl one and Bosicar has four, but none of them have mandated stock facility. It is worth mentioning here that reportedly the government had earlier suspended the license of six OMCs named M/S Admore, Askar Oil, Bakri Trading, Hascol, OOTCL and Byco because of no storage or insufficient storage with reference to their license. Though OGRA had imposed hefty fines worth Rs2 million on Admore, Rs1m on Bico, Rs1.5m on Oscar, Rs0.5m on OTC, Rs0.3m on Pak Re and Rs 0.8m on Hescol for violating the rules regarding oil storage facility, sources said, adding that yet OMCs had not provided details of their petrol pumps and storage facilities within given time in spite of strict directions of the authority. Absence of provision of details should lead to cancellation of licenses and imposition of heavy fines on OMCs but it has been learnt that most of the OMCs, despite repeated directions by OGRA, have so far not maintained the required oil storage facilities, thus inviting another crisis to add to the woes and worries of the general public. Economic pundits while talking ton this scribe said that shortage of petroleum products hits the country once in every few months generally and particularly in every emergency like situation because of limited refining capacity and due to some large refinery projects, which have been shelved in recent years. The supply constraints would continue to haunt commuters until production capacity was increased, they opined. We have also found that in the past there were some oil marketing companies that were given licenses to operate without binding them to follow the rules and regulations of Ogra, sources said, adding, any crisis or emergency would again mock the nation in spite of so-called bundle of measures and policy guidelines introduced by the authorities concerned till this effect. Sources were of the opinion that the government could not take strict measures against OMCs which had already invested heavily in oil market of Pakistan in spite of ever soaring circular debt issue also underline the helplessness of the incumbent government despite having certain paraphernalia to smoothly regulate and strictly monitor the demand, supply and pricing of POL products. It was also learnt that instead of abiding by the license rules, the OMCs were strengthening existing cartels and creating newer ones to thwart any government attempt to force them into compliance. In the face of previous fuel crisis, their inaction and stubbornness had added fuel to fire while its an undeniable fact that non-maintenance of prescribed 14 to 20 days build-up fuel stocks by many OMCs had played the main role in worsening the petroleum situation in the country in the past. But the OMCs are not to blame alone as leniencies on the part of regulatory and monitoring authorities, which often succumb to arm-twisting by the cartels, also share a big part of the responsibility of putting the nation in utter fuel chaos. It is relevant to mention that Pakistans daily consumption of petrol stood at around 6,667 tonnes per day against present supply of just 3,600 tonnes. According to Ogra, in the month of July, the consumption of petrol had increased to 250,000 tonnes compared to 187,713 tonnes in corresponding month in 2010. Though OMCs are bound to maintain certain quantities of petroleum products in reserve yet the sudden shortage of petrol would not have happened if they had sufficient stocks. Further, marketing companies had stopped lifting petrol from Parco, reportedly because of over-charging.