ISLAMABAD    -   The government was working on a multi-pronged strategy to increase production of petroleum commodities by revamping the existing oil refineries and opening up the sector for private companies to create an environment of competition.

“Three oil refineries, out of five existing facilities, were inefficient, and the government has announced a 10-year tax exemption for them to increase their capacity. The given concession would also be applicable for new deep conversion oil refineries,” a senior official privy to the petroleum sector developments told APP.

He said an unprecedented incentives package was in place for setting up new deep conservation oil refineries, enabling them to import machinery, vehicles, plants and equipment and other materials.

Recently, he said, the government had given a roadmap for ease-of-doing-business in the petroleum sector, removing red-tapism in getting approval for investment and advancements in different fields. He said a policy was being worked out, under which procedural hitches were being removed to facilitate investors in the oil refining and marketing sector. “Under the strategy, new players would come in the petroleum sector and the inefficient would have to quit. An environment of competition would be ensured, ending the monopoly of individuals,” the official added.

Answering a question, he said, the overall storage capacity of Motor Spirit (MS) and High Speed Diesel (HSD) oil had witnessed around 13.07 per cent increase during the fiscal year 2018-19 as compared to the corresponding year.

He said the storage capacity for both the MS and HSD oil had been increased from 1,712,691 MT to 1,936,550 MT during the period.

The MS oil storage capacity was enhanced from 490,408 Metric Ton (MT) to 594,299 MT, showing 21.18 percent increase. While, the HSD oil storage capacity was expanded from 1,222,283 MT to 1,342,251 MT, projecting 9.81 percent increase.