No strike on July 5: Filling stations will stay open nationwide

Most Pakistan Petroleum Dealers Association (PPDA) leaders have announced they will not join the July 5 strike. Petroleum retailers have said they will pursue detailed negotiations with the authorities before opting for extreme options like an indefinite strike. After giving the strike call, negotiations are useless, so petrol pumps will be kept open all over the country on July 5, as the country’s economy cannot be jammed at this critical juncture.

PPDA Spokesperson Hasan Shah, while talking to petroleum dealers, said that we have also protested in the past. We have closed D-Chowk and blocked Faizabad Interchange, and we have protested outside the National Assembly and Senate.

However, he underlined that negotiations are still the best option while strikes should be the last option.

He said that a delegation led by PPDA Rawalpindi leader Numan Ali Butt met Minister of State for Finance Ali Pervez Malik and informed him that petroleum Dealers may be charged either fixed tax or regular tax. A business cannot be taxed both ways, and if it were to do so, it would be illegal, and the petrol pumps would be shut down.

The minister has asked Chairman FBR to resolve the issue, and the Chairman FBR has assured all-out cooperation.

Hassan Shah said that our detailed discussions are ongoing. If they are unsuccessful, a decision will be made after consulting with the organization of each district in the country.

“We reject the strike call by some dealers in Karachi because they are working for the interests of oil marketing companies and not concerned about their community,” Shah said.

He said that individuals cannot impose their decisions on the whole community.

He added that petroleum dealers cannot be sacrificed for the interests of any individual or some oil marketing companies.

PPDA leaders include Khawaja Atif Ahmad from Lahore, Humayun Khan from Khanewal, Zaheer Ahmed Paracha from Leh, and Waseem from Karachi. Butt and Haji Abdul Karim, Haji Sawab Gul from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Amjad Shinwari, and Nadeem Aziz Khan from Gujranwala said that an indefinite strike would be the last option.

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