Lahore: The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Saturday said petrol crisis has exposed competence of petroleum officials and the claims of the government regarding good governance. Over half of the country’s population and economy continue to suffer because of the fuel scarcity but government seems uninterested in resolving the crisis, said Dr. Murtaza Mughal, President PEW.
He said that top government functionaries continue to hide their mismanagement through different baseless excuses.
Dr. Murtaza Mughal said that the situation can be normalised in two months if there is a political will to resolve the crisis.Blaming petroleum ministry, PSO and Ogra for the crisis, he said that only one cargo was imported in December 2014 while not a single drop of fuel was imported in the current month. He said that PSO has defaulted on local and international obligations which has dented its credibility, adding that provision to fuel to defaulters like PIA, Railways, NLC, Hubcap and IPPS was a crime.
Dr. Murtaza Mughal said that provision Rs 17 billion to PSO by Finance Ministry was a joke as the institution need Rs one trillion minimum. The oil marketing companies also broke the law by keeping stocks that could last less than two weeks but these would get a clean chit after a probe, he feared. He said that Ogra should not be run by a bureaucrat but a technocrat while there must be a qualified, experienced and full time chief of the PSO to improve things. The masses must brace for a new round of unprecedented loadshedding as oil stocks have dried up, he warned.
He said that private sector should be allowed to import petroleum products as they would not give the commodity to defaulters. Government must not push masses to the wall lest it regret the incompetence.