Lockdown not possible in current economic situation: PM Imran

Our Correspondent

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran is chairing a session of the federal cabinet on Tuesday to review countrywide situation and discuss important national matters such as the upcoming budget and measures against the coronavirus. According to sources, the prime minister took notice of the ‘artificial’ scarcity of petroleum products in the country, ordering strict action against those behind it. Sources said that the cabinet ordered the petroleum division to form teams for conducting raids. As per the law, Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority and petroleum division officials can inspect stores of the oil companies, sources quoted the cabinet members as saying. “OGRA kept on sleeping, while long queues formed outside the petrol pumps,” said federal minister Murad Saeed. Meanwhile, Federal Minister for Aviation Ghulam Sarwar asked if there was only a stock left for seven days in the entire country of petroleum products, to which Special Assistant to PM Nadeem Babar responded that at this time 215,000 metric tonnes of petrol is in reserve. Federal Minister for Energy Omar Ayub said that some companies stopped buying of petrol after an increase of $12 in the global market. “The oil companies which ended the stock, we are cancelling their licenses,” said the minister. Meanwhile, sources informed that the cabinet also approved action against those named in the sugar crisis inquiry report. The federal cabinet will also review the decisions taken by the Economic Coordination Committee on June 3, according to its agenda. The ECC had recommended to let go of 9,350 employees of the Pakistan Steel Mills. The cabinet will take a decision on the matter today. Earlier this week, it was reported that petrol pumps spread over the country have been facing a shortage of fuel supply, adding to the difficulties of the public as well as transporters. It was learnt that those stations with petrol, are charging citizens double prices.

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