Lahore

The business community on Friday criticised the government for its poor management and recklessness, causing severe shortage of petroleum products at a time when the public is already suffering due to 18 hours electricity loadshedding and unavailability of gas.

They said that when oil rates have been reduced by 50% in global market the PML-N regime cuts the price only by 25% per cent and now it is being sold in black market, giving free hand to the mafia to loot masses, he added.

All Pakistan Business Forum president Ibrahim Qureshi said that with extreme failure in recovery of electricity bills and circular debt of Rs262 billion, the inefficient government has exposed the PSO to the default of Rs50 billion of 6 local banks and the block of its L/Cs to Rs110 billion owing to which POL imports got alarmingly squeezed and stocks of petrol in Punjab got dried out.

He said that it is first time in the history that orders of oil imports given by PSO have been rejected by oil suppliers as its most of the L/Cs have choked down. Resultantly, PSO and other OMCs have reduced POL supplies by 50 percent, depriving the masses of petrol.

APBF President said that the people of Punjab are already facing zero availability of CNG for transportation purposes and now petrol has also become a rare commodity. Long queues in Punjab are visible on petrol pumps because of the shortage in supply of petrol, he added.

LCCI President Ijaz A Mumtaz urged the government to take immediate measures to restore supply of petroleum product as the shortage is not only causing undue damage to the trade & economic activities but also hitting the general public hard. He said that fuel shortage has brought the vehicular traffic to a grinding halt in the province of Punjab.

LCCI President said that Punjab is hub of trade and economic activities and biggest contributor in GDP but Punjab is being hit worse by fuel shortage that would ultimately hit the national economy.  All Pakistan Anjuman-e-Tajiran general secretary Naeem Mir suggested the PML-N leadership to quit the government and hand over all authorities and power to military, which is already running almost all affairs of the country. The PML-N leadership should now take rest and let the military take administration of the country, as they have failed miserably to govern the country or facilitate the public.

He said that the PM, Finance Minister, federal ministers have no tension of public as they are busy in foreign tours and don’t have bothered to even clarify because they know that they created this shortage themselves, he said.

Naeem Mir observed that mismanagement of the PML-N government has broken all records as the LPG prices are touching new highs in Punjab and cylinder of 11.8kg has surged to over Rs2,200 and the domestic consumers are facing zero gas supplies.

LCCI former vice president Kashif Anwar said that business doing people were facing loss of billions of rupees daily as movement of their finished goods and raw material was almost suspended due to non-availability of fuel but concerned departments were playing role of silent spectators and advising people to stay calm and wait for POL supply.

Kashif Anwar said that PSO had long been sensitising the economic managers about its poor financial health and imminent default but the govt remained unmoved taking the country to stone age. He said that price drop was an opportunity to maximize power production but the poor planning of the government has devastated the business and industry.

APCMA former chairman Aizaz Mansoor Sheikh said that it is unfortunate that stock of furnace oil which is used for thermal power generation have almost depleted and no more import is on the cards as PSO’s financial health is so weak and it is unable to open new L/Cs for more import. Industrial production in all regional economies is picking up due to availability of cheap oil but the manufacturing sector is not benefiting from the low global commodity rates and falling inflation in the country due to energy crisis and mismanagement.