Right at the year’s start on 1st January 2015, when every Pakistani was praying for a better future, DCO Lahore with his magistrates were busy minting penalties out of petrol stations, as they were out of stock. It’s a simple shop keeping rule that you do not buy sales stock on one day, to sell it at a loss the next day, assessing that fuel refineries stopped buying fuel from State Oil. Consequently on the day before petrol price changes the petrol stations are not given any supplies from the refineries. But it’s the petrol station’s who have to bear the brunt. Thirty to seventy thousand Rupees were charged and collected in cash from 260 stations in Lahore, without any proper fine or written paper work done or any payment slips provided.

On protesting the inspecting magistrate would threaten to jail every staff member for ten days. What law states that you can force a business to take a loss, if its Government’s responsibility to manage supplies to petrol stations, then they should start from the top. I would like to request the authorities to kindly do some homework before bullying small business holders, prepare a price control mechanism that doesn’t pose an unmanageable loss. Moreover even if these fines were collected we should know where they went, were they deposited directly into the DCO’s pocket or his henchmen the ‘Magistrate’s? Kindly process my request as I am a disheartened petrol station owner, who is selling off his business and sacking 15 employees.

ABDULLAH KHATTAK,

Lahore, January 3.