Pak braces for worst diesel shortage next month
Islamabad, April 19 (IANS) Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has been warned by economists and industry experts that the country would face the worst shortage of diesel next month amid the harvesting season as its stocks are plummeting, Express Tribune reported.
Sources told The Express Tribune that the experts had urged Premier Shehbaz to increase oil prices in order to avoid the swelling price differential claims that accumulated to around Rs 60 billion in only one month of April 2022.
The prime minister was also informed that there would be no protests if the oil prices were increased. However, protests would start if diesel was not available in the market due to poor financial health of the oil industry on account of rising price differential claims. The interesting thing was that there was no approval from the government to clear the price differential claims of the oil industry.
Further, PM Shehbaz had refused to increase the oil prices despite the grave situation of the oil industry.
The sources said that diesel stocks were depleting fast as only 18-day supply remained in the country.
The Pakistan State Oil (PSO) was the country's largest oil exporter. Earlier, it had made an attempt to import diesel by floating a tender but no trader participated.
Now, the PSO had arranged one diesel cargo at the highest premium rate of $13 due to non-availability of diesel in the global market following the Russia and Ukraine war.