Oil tankers threaten to stop fuel supply to hilly areas
ISLAMABAD – Oil Tankers Association Friday threatened to stop supply of fuel to Kashmir, Gilgit Baltistan and Chitral after the government delayed the increase in oil tankers fares for those areas.
“From Monday (December 18), our oil tankers will stop supply to Northern areas, Kashmir and Chitral as the government is delaying the execution of its promise regarding enhancement of freight charges for those areas,” All Pakistan Oil Tankers and Contractors Association General Secretary Nauman Ali Butt said while talking to The Nation here.
He said that the representatives of All Pakistan Oil Tanker Owners Association (APOTA) and Oil Tankers Contractor Association (OTCA) met with chairperson Ogra for the enhancement of freight charges for the oil tankers carrying oil to GB, AJK and Chitral but response was not very positive. He said that fares for those areas have not been revised during the past six years.
“In October, last, the government committed that they will upward revise the freight rate of oil tankers for Kashmir, Gilgit Baltistan and Chitral within one month but now they are using delaying tactics,” he said. The representatives All Pakistan Oil Tanker Owners Association (APOTA) and Oil Tankers Contractor Association (OTCA) and government agreed for the enhancement of freight charges of the oil tankers for the entire Pakistan in two phases. In first phase, the government allowed an increase in fares for the oil transportation in city and muddy/hilly areas, while in second phase it promised to allow an increase in the freight charges for Gilgit Baltistan, AJK, Jaglot, Chitral and other hilly areas.
It is pertinent to mention here that an agreement, for the increase in freight charges, was reached on 25th October at a meeting between the officials of the Petroleum Division, Ogra and All Pakistan Oil Tanker Owners Association (APOTA) and Oil Tankers Contractor Association (OTCA). However, OGRA didn’t inform the OCAC about the decision. Disappointed by the delay in announcement, APOTA and OTCA had given a fresh call for strike on November 13. The strike was postponed as on 10th November, Ogra upward revised the fares for oil transportation and allowed up an increase of 19.7 percent to 63.93 percent in fares of different slabs of oil transportation The new fares were made effective from November 1st. and will stay in effect for next two years. Under the decision, the freight for cities was increased by 63.9 per cent while for long distance it would be 19.7 percent. However, it was agreed that the freight rate for the Gilgit- Baltistan, AJK and Chitral would remain the same and would be revised within one month.