Pakistan fuel tanker owners end strike

Oil tanker owners go on strike

Fuel stations across the country shut down after supply was halted when the All Pakistan Oil Tankers Association (APOTA) went on a strike against the government's "unfair" practices.

The Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources had convened the meeting of representatives of the APOTA, All Pakistan Carriage Contractors Association (APCCA) and oil marketing companies (OMCs) to convince the oil tanker owners to call off the strike.

Senator Mir Israrullah Zehri presided over meeting of the Standing Committee on Petroleum, wherein officials from Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) briefed members on Bahawalpur tragedy.

"The oil supply will resume by 4:00pm", said Yousaf Shiwani, president of the oil tankers' association, adding that government officials had accepted the body's demands to extend the timeframe to adopt the new safety measures.

Since then, authorities have imposed fines on tankers they claim are not fit to transport oil.

Today's talks proved successful as the government assured the APOTA that it would remove oil transporters' concerns and eventually the association agreed to end its strike.

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After failure in negotiations with the government yesterday, the All Pakistan Oil Tankers Association had announced that their strike would continue until their demands are met as many cities faced with petrol shortage.

Sources said the two sides agreed to increase the freight rate of oil tankers and to resolve all other issues within 15 days. Mr Shahwani said that explosive department was charging Rs10,000 instead of Rs1,000.

He said no one would be allowed to blackmail the authorities.

The OGRA had initiated checking of the tankers being used by oil marketing companies to reduce the frequent accidents.

Three more years have lapsed after the five year commitment and yet certain elements were trying to avoid safety standards, said Mr Ghaznavi.

He said the talks were facilitated by Pakistan Awami Raj Party chief Jamshed Dasti.

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