Fuel Crisis Hits Karachi and KP as Pumps Run Dry Amid Partial Strike


KARACHI/PESHAWAR: Despite the postponement of a planned strike by petroleum dealers on Friday evening, many consumers in Karachi faced difficulties obtaining petrol and diesel earlier in the day as several fuel pumps were either closed or out of stock.

The strike was a protest against the government’s imposition of a 0.5% advance turnover tax, which the dealers argue would add an additional tax burden of Rs1 million per pump. They strongly rejected this demand.

According to a petroleum dealer, approximately 50% of fuel pumps in Karachi were closed ahead of Friday prayers due to a mixed response to the strike call. By evening, most pumps resumed operations before the Pakistan Petroleum Dealers Association (PPDA) Chairman Abdul Sami Khan announced the strike’s postponement and instructed dealers to reopen pumps from 7 pm. Fuel pumps on Sharea Faisal, I.I. Chundrigar Road, Malir, Korangi, Landhi, North Karachi, and Gulshan-i-Iqbal remained operational.

In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, a partial strike was observed against the turnover tax. While some pumps were closed, many remained operational, leading to minimal disruption. PPDA Chairman Abdul Sami Khan cited the difficulties faced by tourists in northern areas, including Hazara, Malakand, and Swat, as a reason for postponing the strike. He emphasized that the postponement does not mean the association is withdrawing its demand, warning that further actions could be taken if their demands are not met.

He claimed that government officials in Hazara and Malakand coerced PPDA dealers to open their outlets. Despite meetings with the finance minister and Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) chairman, their concerns have not been addressed. The association has also held inconclusive talks with petroleum ministry officials on the turnover tax.

In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, around 20% of filling stations in Peshawar’s cantonment and city areas were closed, but the majority remained open, ensuring a smooth fuel supply. KP Petroleum and Cartridge Association Chairman Abdul Majeed claimed that their strike was successful, with 400 petrol pumps observing the strike across the province. He warned of further strikes if their demands are not met.

Story by Mohammad Ashfaq | Aamir Shafaat Khan

Related posts