PESHAWAR - Petrol pump dealers and owners have warned to go on strike, if the district governments do not stop imposition of illegal fines upon them.

Addressing at a news conference at the Press Club here on Thursday, Provincial Chairman of Sarhad Petroleum Cartage and Dealers Association Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Mansoor Durrani Sharif, claimed that the district governments at various cities, especially in Peshawar, Mardan, Charssadda and Karak, have started collection from petroleum dealers and owners from Rs.20,000 to Rs.40,000/- as penalty, and the authorities were not taking any action in this regard.

Accompanied by Association President Islamabad chapter, Chaudhry Zafar, Babu Razzaq from Abbottabad, Haji Janan President Karak, and Akhtar Nawaz from district Mardan, Sharif said that they are paying all legitimate taxes and generated huge employment opportunities by making huge investments in the sector. He regretted that district governments are continuously harassing and collecting illegal taxes, despite paying all legal taxes, and huge contribution in the national exchequer.

"We had established an outlet at cost of Rs.50 to Rs.60 million and are providing 24 hours services, and paying all legal taxes. But despite that the government attitude against them is totally illogical," says Akhtar Nawaz.

He added that the government had fixed dealers' margin at five percent during the Musharaf-led government in 2003, which was not yet increased.

Mansoor Sharif said that there was dire a need to increase dealers margin from five percent, due to the increasing expenditure and inflation in the country. Nawaz said that prices of petroleum products had come down at Rs.84.95 per litre, and we have also instantly implemented new prices to give direct benefit of the government decision.

"Don't compel us to take any harsh step," he warned asking the authorities to stop harassing them.

10 vocational counselling centres set up in KP

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government has set up 10 vocational counselling and job placement centres across the province with assistance of Technical & Vocational Education & Training (TVET) Reform Support Programme, which is funded by European Union (EU), Germany, Holland and Norway and is being implemented by GIZ in Pakistan.

Distribution ceremony of information and technology equipment among the principals of technical colleges of the province was held here at Peshawar Club. Advisor to Chief Minister on Transport and Technical Education Shah Mohammad Wazir, as a chief guest, said that the provincial government had allocated Rs. 8 billion in order to bring the training and vocational institutes to international standards.

He said that the aim to establish TVET was to standardize the technical education because the country is far behind in this sector from other developing countries.

On this occasion, Chairman TVET Noman Wazir said that at least 73 centers were established in the province and completion of 10 centers had been done including two in Peshawar, Kohat, Charsadda, Abbotabad, Mansehra, Chakdarra and Mardan.

He further said that technicians would be given training in these centers for employment. He emphasized that principals of technical colleges must educate the students with dedication.

Later, the chief guest distributed the equipments among the principals of Government Colleges of Technology Peshawar, Kohat, Tangi, Noshehra, Abbotabad, Mansehra and Government Technical and Vocational Center Gulbahar Pehsawr, Chitral, Mardan and Hayatabad Peshawar.