PPDA rejects plans to approve Doorstep Delivery Tankers for fuel or gas

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On Tuesday, the Pakistan Petroleum Dealers Association (PPDA) opposed the plan to sell diesel on roads through Doorstep Delivery Tankers (DDTs) across the country and termed it against national interests. It said the decision would further increase smuggling and cause the government to lose billions in revenue. It added that this decision will endanger the lives and property of the people while sinking the billions of dollars invested by oil and gas companies and their dealers.

At an emergency meeting of petroleum dealers, Hassan Shah, a member of the PPDA’s Central Executive Committee, warned that such a move would result in the loss of hundreds of thousands of jobs and the bankruptcy of thousands of businesses. He said that dealers profit a few rupees on selling a litre of diesel, while the smuggled oil sellers make a profit of Rs 70 to Rs 80 per litre. However, he said that most petrol pump owners cannot sell the smuggled oil because doing so risks their investment of Rs 300 to Rs 400 million. However, it will be easier for smugglers to sell fuel through benami tankers.

He said the decision would facilitate smugglers and the mafia by providing convenience to the people. Given the widespread presence of petrol pumps nationwide and its lack of practice globally, he questioned the decision’s rationale. He said that the government should refrain from implementing this project; otherwise, after Shell, other companies will also leave the country, affecting Pakistan’s image.

According to Hassan Shah, the legalisation of smuggled diesel will shrink the documented economy’s size and increase the black economy’s size. He underlined that smugglers are already installing nozzles on tankers similar to those installed on filling stations to discharge fuel wherever they please, which will raise concerns about public safety. He stated that when smuggled Iranian oil is available at their doorstep, consumers will never purchase pricey fuel. Selling fuel on roads via tankers will become the most profitable business in Pakistan at the expense of energy companies and dealers. Due to unbelievable profits, smugglers will recover their entire investment in tankers within a few days.

According to Hasan Shah, the PPDA has met Chairman OGRA, DG of the Explosives Department, and sent letters to the Ministry of Petroleum to inform them of their concerns.

However, the project’s rapid progress raises concerns and suggests the mafia’s influence, adding that an influential petroleum company involved in large-scale smuggling is lobbying hard to achieve the goal.

He stated that petroleum dealers would not allow anyone to play with the future of the nation to benefit a few influential people. It is obvious that after the sale of diesel on roads, the sale of petrol and gas will also be allowed.

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