The issue between government and All Pakistan Oil Tankers Association still continue. Now APOTA has given a warning that if their demands are not met by August 20th they would discontinue the supply of oil.
APOTA Chairman Yousaf Shawani said, “Our talks with National Highway Authority (NHA) and Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra) have failed and the prime minister should resolve the issue till August 20 otherwise APOTA will discontinue oil supply.”
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After oil tanker strike last month APOTA agreed to address their issues to Ogra and NHA but Shawani says, “No one is ready to listen to us, neither Ogra nor NHA. National Highway Authority is not ready to provide relief to the oil tankers and wants us to modify our fleet overnight which is not possible. We don’t want to go on strike but the government compelling us to resort to strike.”
Shawani claimed that Ogra is biased and is not ready to cooperate with them. He said that there are thousands of tankers and the government wishes to upgrade them all at one time which is impossible. He said, “We are ready to follow the Ogra’s quality standards but it cannot be done overnight. There are three companies who can upgrade the tankers and can build 350 to 400 tankers a month and if we want to replace all the substandard tankers it will require a couple of years.”
It was in the month of July when a three-day protest was made by APOTA and APCCA with the demand to implement 2009 safety rules made by Ogra.
As per Ogra 40% of the tankers are below standard and are not up to the criteria.
The demands by APOTA are to delay up gradation of tankers, raise freight rate, eliminate National Logistic Cell from the oil business, slow down oil transportation to Peshawar through the train, allow oil tankers to pass via Kohat tunnel, reduce explosive permit rate etc.
Due to the strike, there was fuel shortage at petrol pumps and the whole country came to a stop. When government assured that the demands of APOTA would be met the strike was called off. Now again APOTA has given a deadline to the current government to meet their demands or else they will again go on strike.