Sharp surge in demand caused petrol shortage, claims Abbasi

Source:  Daily Times Published in Politics on Tuesday, January 20, 2015

ISLAMABAD: Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources Shahid Khaqan Abbasi on Monday accepted the responsibility for the acute shortage of petrol in the country but said that it was caused by a “sharp surge” in demand.

He apologised for the hardship the public is facing due to this crisis. Addressing a press conference, he said that a committee headed by advisor to the ministry Zahid Muzzafar has been formed that will compile a report about this crisis after which action would be taken against those responsible. The minister attributed the shortage to surge in demand for petrol in the country which, he claimed, had jumped to 15,000 tonnes in January from 12,000 tonnes in December. He claimed that record sale of 40,000 tonnes of petrol was registered in a single.

“The prevailing petrol crisis occurred due to high demand following cut in fuel prices,” the minister said. “We are ashamed due to the fuel shortage and hardship faced by the people.” Abbasi appealed to people not to panic, “as the crisis was about to be resolved”. Apparently trying to lessen the burden of personal responsibility for the crisis, the minister claimed that due to the closure of gas in Punjab and reduction in petrol prices, people switched to the fuel, which culminated in its shortage.

He said that the government is taking all-out measures to overcome the shortage and that petrol is being supplied thirty percent more than its usual supply of 154,000 tonnes. Giving the city-wise breakup of the petrol supply, Abbasi said that its supply has been doubled in Lahore by providing 1.6 million liters of petrol; supply has been enhanced to 600,000 liters from 450,000 in Islamabad and to 500,000 liters from 400,000 liters in Rawalpindi.

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