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Oil tankers blackmail Pakistan, announce strike over silly demands

In an attempt to coerce the government into fulfilling its demands, the Oil Tanker Contractors Association has announced a countrywide strike.

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The All-Pakistan Oil Tankers Contractors Association (APOTCA) has announced to go on strike and halt the supply of petroleum products in the country from Thursday for an indefinite time.

The strike was announced in order to pressurize the government to accept their demands. The association had asked the government to reduce income tax to 2% from 3% and also demanded a 50% quota in the White Oil Pipeline (WOP), saying that the companies should dispatch 50% supplies through roads and rest of the 50% through the pipeline.

According to All Pakistan Oil Tankers Contractors Association’s President Abidullah Afridi, despite oil tankers contractors and owners having invested billions of rupees to upgrade their vehicles to transport oil supplies from Karachi to the upcountry, OMC has laid White Oil Pipeline from Karachi to Punjab to transport oil to the country.

However, the government hasn’t either accepted the demand or given the association time for a meeting.

Presently, the The OMCs were dispatching some 60% diesel supplies through the pipeline and the remaining were being supplied through tankers which the Oil Tankers Contractors Association (APOTCA) was not satisfied with.

The pipeline was also being upgraded to transport petrol (motor gasoline) as well, it has been learnt.

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Pipeline is the cheapest, safest and securest mode of [petrol, oil and lubricants] POL transportation, and now when Pakistan is trying to transform this advantage to its own benefit, the Oil Contractors Association is creating all sorts of hurdles.

It takes around four to five days to transport oil via roads while through pipelines, it reaches the destination in about 4-5 hours. Moreover, it is not affected by the weather, and has high reliability throughout the day. The pipeline can also take shortcuts and the transportation distance is short.

Also, the energy consumption is the lowest among various modes of transportation. This method of oil transportation does not cause pollution and is therefore safe for the environment as well.

However, the All-Pakistan Oil Tankers Contractors Association sees this as a disadvantage for itself and is therefore trying to put up major roadblocks to deter the government from fully transferring to a more efficient mode of oil transportation.

The strike is expected to lead to a shortage of petroleum products at fuel pumps, as they receive the supplies through the oil tankers from oil marketing companies’ (OMCs) depots set up in some cities across Pakistan.

“We would remain on strike until our demands are fully met,” said Afridi. All the associations engaged in oil supplies to the upcountry are part of the strike, including the oil tankers owners’ association, he added.

The association president went on to say that all the associations engaged in oil supplies to the upcountry are part of the strike, including the oil tankers owners’ association.