As the strike of All Pakistan Oil Tankers Association has started as a token of protest, there is potential threat of scarcity of petroleum products in the country.
The supply of petrol to major depots held by the various oil companies, situated at different parts of the countries has been disturbed due to the strike of oil tankers owners.
The All Pakistan Oil Tankers Association are demanding an increase of transportation fare and against the embargo on old model tankers by the government.
In this connection the Oil Company Advisory Council(OCAC) after its meeting that was convened to discuss the strike, has written a letter to the DG (Oil)Petroleum Division to intervene in the matter to convince the oil tankers association to end their strike.
In current circumstances, when the economy is under pressure due to series of protests, which are being held across the country by different walks of life of the society against inflation especially the extreme hike in electricity tariff and price of petroleum prices, the halt in supply of petroleum due to strike would cause a major dent to the economy. At this juncture, Pakistan cannot afford strikes and protests as she is already passing through an acute financial crisis.
If the supply of petrol would be cut off for three days maximum by virtue of strike of oil tankers, the misery of common man would be enhanced manifold, as the transportation of the people to their workplaces would be affected badly. The employees would not reach their offices, the students cannot go schools, colleges and universities and even the patient would not be moved to the hospitals.
As far as the demands of oil tankers association are concerned, two out of one demand is justified as the price of the petroleum products jumped to the sky with a giant leap, the transportation fares for tankers carrying oil to the different parts of the country should also be raised accordingly.
But the second demand of lifting ban on the use of old model vehicles as oil tankers is not apposite as they take highly inflammable material and any major incident can be occurred due to old vehicles at any time, which could cause big loss to the lives of public and property at big scale.
It would be in the public interest that the new vehicles should be utilized by the owners for safe supply of petrol to different parts of the country, to minimize the peril of any major accident.
If the ongoing strike of oil tankers is prolonged, the government cannot maintain the supply chain for more than two or three days as the public sector oil company, Pakistan State Oil(PSO) has no reserves in large quantities of petrol in its depots.
If the caretaker government deem the demands of oil tankers’ owners appropriate, then the office bearers of their association may be called for negotiations without wasting a moment, to avoid the strike, which would definitely affect the mobility of the nation.