ISLAMABAD-As oil crisis has worsened and petrol pumps across the country are getting dried out, OGRA has issued a show cause notices to six OMCs for not maintaining the requisite petroleum stocks.

“OGRA has issued show cause notices to six OMCs where major dry outs have been reported and has sought explanation within 24 hours,” said Spokesperson OGRA, Imran Ghaznavi, here yesterday.

Initially, the show cause notices were issued to three OMCs including Shell Pakistan limited, Attock Petroleum Limited, Total Parco Pakistan Limited. However, later the show cause notices were issued to another three OMCs.

On the basis of complaints received through PM’s Citizen Portal on fuel shortage at retail outlets, 3 more show cause notices have been issued to OMCs, namely Gas and Oil, Puma and Hascol. Explanation has also been sought within 24 hours, said the spokesperson in a tweet.

He further said that “OGRA has advised Chief Secretaries of Punjab, Sindh, Baluchistan, KPK, Gilgit and Baltistan, AJK and Chief Commissioner ICT to ensure the availability of oil stocks at the retail outlets of Oil Marketing Companies.

The letter said that there are reports of shortage of petroleum products at the petrol pumps of the licensed Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs), resulting in serious inconvenience to general public and unrest among the masses.

“Considering the position, you are also requested to issue instructions to all the concerned DCOs in your province to initiate action against those petrol pumps which are involved in hoarding under the Price Control and Prevention of Profiteering and Hoarding Act, 1977 to curb such ill practices. You are also requested to share details of such retail outlets involved in such malpractices in order to enable OGRA to take necessary action against OMC,” the said reveals.

It is worth to mention here that since the reduction of petroleum prices in May the country was first struck by High Speed Diesel Crisis and now for the last one week there were complaints of petrol shortage across the country. Since Monday night petrol pumps in some parts of the country dried up and the pumps with the petrol stocks witnessed long queues of vehicles. It is worth to mention here that none of the OMCs except PSO is maintaining the requisite 20-day stocks but no action has been taken against any of the OMC so far.

On Wednesday even the operational petrol pumps were selling petrol worth only Rs 500 per vehicle. During the entire crisis instead of taking tangible measure OGRA and Petroleum Division were exchanging letters and failed to take any concrete measures to force the OMCs to enhance the oil supply which has further worsened the situation.

Parts of the country are facing oil shortage as the OMC have apparently curtailed the supplies to their retail outlets keeping in view the anticipated increase in petroleum products prices in July.

The Petroleum Division via a letter to the OGRA has warned about the anticipated hoarding of petroleum products by Oil Marketing Companies and asked it to play its role as regulator to avoid the situation.