MULTAN: Ghee and cooking oil mills in Multan, Bahawalpur and Dera Ghazi Khan remained close for the second day on Sunday against Friday’s torching of four tankers carrying edible oil stock in Karachi.
The Pakistan Vanaspati Manufacturers Association (PVMA) said the strike would continue until the government assured secure transportation of edible oil consignments from Karachi to mills all over the country.
The PVMA said the tankers burned down on Friday were owned by National Logistics Cell, which has a contract with the PVMA for transportation of edible oil from Karachi port to the mills.
A PVMA statement said the torching was carried out by a ‘transport mafia in Karachi’. “The businesses have unanimously decided to close down 96 ghee and cooking oil units in the country,” said Ahsan Rasheed, an oil manufacturer in south Punjab.
Rasheed said the PVMA wanted NLC to transport its oil stock from Karachi to mills in the country. “Transportation through NLC is safe.
With NLC in charge of the stock, the mills have not had to worry about theft or robbery on the way,” he said.
Rasheed said the millers would not let any other transporter handle their stock from the port.
Out of the tankers burned in Port Qasim on Friday one each belonged to Sufi Industries and Mehboob Industries and two to Hafeez Iqbal Industries. The tankers were carrying over 200 tons of oil worth around Rs30 million.
Ahsan said approximately 6,000 tons oil is transported from Karachi port to mills everyday.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 20th, 2012.