People of Pakistan primarily people of Central Punjab and Islamabad region, went through a disastrous situation regarding petrol famine. Millions of people from the most heavily populated and alleged most prosperous province of Punjab came across never thought of circumstances of not able to a basic commodity to keep running their life vehicle called petrol.
Embarrassment for PML-N led Government:
Crisis prevailed abruptly in the middle of January 2015, when in first 2 days people came across unavailability of petrol in some petrol pumps, but as the days passed by the shortage shaped as the lack of procurement completely. That’s when the noise started echoing of countless people from the big cities of Punjab including Provincial Capital Lahore and Faisalabad, Gujranwala, Multan and also heard in Countries Capital Islamabad.
All this could not happen overnight since the Ministry of Petroleum is bound to ensure 21 days of oil storage in the country.
On Ground Situation on a hike of Petrol Shortage:
Initially it was close to impossible for people to find a petrol station – where the petrol is available; secondly if somehow people found one, the never-ending queues of 4 wheelers and two-wheelers broke the hope of many straight away regarding the possibility of getting petrol from there. But as Pakistani people is known for their resilience, most of them stood still in the long wait for their turn to get some drops of fuel to reach offices & business next day and importantly their homes that day.
The ground situation was so worse that because of the numerous incidents of verbal fights turning into physical on most petrol stations, owner of petrol stations called the Police for controlling the crowd. State of affairs for getting petrol on 17th & 18th January 2015 was the most terrible, when first time in the history of the country, whole families including children’s and females were also seen whole weekend, standing in the long queues holding cans in their hands to obtain petrol.
Some unique tricks were also been used by creative instinct people, who wore “Burkas” (Traditional Female Muslim Overdress) for obtaining petrol easily.
Moreover, the spillover was also going to Karachi – was out of panic and rumours artificial shortage of petrol was also seen erupting, which was later dispel by Govt with instant measures.
Various uttered Reasons behind Crisis:
As per a report, which has been constituted by the Prime Minister of Pakistan formed two members probe committee, put the responsibility on Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) for this crisis. Furthermore, as per committee findings, it endorsed suspensions of four key incumbents holding key positions in OGRA and Ministry of Petroleum.
But as per Minister of Petroleum Shahid Khaqan Abbasi statement, who apologized from the Government from the people of Pakistan and also offered his voluntary resignation upon found guilty for this debacle. He innocently called it mismanagement and extensive increase in demand of petrol in the first week of January 2015 for this shortage, during a press conference in Islamabad last week.
Conclusive Reason following Crisis:
However, the sources claimed that the main reason behind this crisis was the delayed or no payment to Pakistan State Oil (PSO) by various Govt fractions – mainly the Ministry of Water and Power. This was the prime reason why PSO was unable to import oil shipments on time. According to stats, the Power Ministry is liable to pay a huge sum of around Rs 171 billion to PSO in the sake of furnace oil, which they procure to IPP’s (Independent Power Producers) amid at generating electricity.
Steps taken by Govt for the future:
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif who cancelled his Switzerland tour, which was meant for him to attend World Economic Forum, is now making himself aware every measure taken in the regard of ensuring smooth availability of petrol in the whole country. Moreover, the premier is also holding a high profile meeting on a daily basis with key ministers, to take certain measures – so that this won’t happen again.
Furthermore, according to reports, the latest buzz is in the air of capital Islamabad that some major PML-N leaders is demanding resignation and reshuffle of responsible Govt ministers, to be made right away for face-saving.