Petroleum minister promises to solve fuel crisis this week

Published: January 19, 2015
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Express News screen grab of Shahid Khaqan Abbasi addressing the press in Islamabad on Monday, January 19, 2015.

Express News screen grab of Shahid Khaqan Abbasi addressing the press in Islamabad on Monday, January 19, 2015.

ISLAMABAD: Facing public anger over petrol shortages across the country, Federal Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources Shahid Khaqan Abbasi promised on Monday that the crisis, which has led to never-ending queues outside petrol stations, would be resolved by this week.

Speaking at a press conference in Islamabad on Monday, Abbasi said the shortage was a result of exceptional petrol demand in January.

“In January, the daily demand of petrol rose from 12,000 tonnes to 15,000 tonnes,” he said. “As a result, there has been a shortage and we are managing it.”

Further, explaining the petrol shortage, Abbasi said since there was a fall in prices, people bought more petrol and hence there was a decrease in reserves.”

Other than a fall in prices, the minister said, tripping of Parco refinery and a delay in fuel shipment to the Pakistan State Oil (PSO) contributed to the fuel shortage.

Now, Abbasi said, the petrol supply has been stabilised with 15,600 tonnes, 30 per cent more than the actual demand in December 2014. Hence, the crises will soon end, he added.

“Lahore has a daily demand of petrol of 0.8 million litres; today we have supplied 1.6 million litres to the city.”

Similarly, Rawalpindi and Islamabad have also been supplied with extra petrol.

Abbasi further said that at a meeting chaired by PM Nawaz on Monday, the government decided to buy additional petrol to defuse the crisis, and solve the ongoing issues of circular debt of PSO.

Although he accepted responsibility for the crises, said that a high-level committee had been formed to investigate those responsible, which will present its report to the prime minister on Tuesday.

He added that the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority has a responsibility to maintain reserves for at least 20 days in advance, however, “no institution has the capacity to predict a 30 per cent rise in demand”.

The crisis started this month when the cash-starved state fuel importer slashed petrol imports by half and skipped overseas fuel oil purchases altogether, worsening power cuts and leading to petrol shortages around the country, most of all in the Punjab.

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Reader Comments (52)

  • Sajjad Ashraf
    Jan 19, 2015 - 7:44PM

    Mr. Minister, whom are you fooling. The prices of petrol have done down all over the world. Tell me one country – ONE COUNTRY where this fuel shortage has occurred.

    The reason is total incompetence of your government. Total lack of concern for the people. There may be people making money selling the commodity in black market.

    You let the PSO default.

    Nawaz Sharif and his team is incompetent. Running a government is beyond him and his team. Please spare this nation …

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  • Sohail
    Jan 19, 2015 - 7:52PM

    This is Pathetic..Regretting for giving vote to them..Imran khan was a better option

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  • Iftikhar Ahmad
    Jan 19, 2015 - 7:54PM

    It is case of gross negligence and mis management.
    Ministers saying daily “it will be solved with in week” where as two weeks already
    passed.

    Yet they are miscalculating demand at 30% increase.
    These ministers are responsible for the embarrassment of their prime minister.

    Suggest Prime Minister should take over charge of the ministry himself (assisted by competent advisor).

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  • salman
    Jan 19, 2015 - 7:55PM

    Ok genius, you couldn’t anticipate that reducing the price of a commodity will increase its demand? This is economics 101. I mean literally this is the first thing I was taught in my economics 101 class 20 years ago!

    I’m sorry, but if any minister is surprised by this, they need to be fired!

    Seems like PMLN were quick to announce price reductions in petrol for the headlines, but as usual, no thinking or planning had gone into it. So much for most experienced team!

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  • raider
    Jan 19, 2015 - 7:59PM

    Promise, what a joke, as if awam is subservient to them, these futile practitioners are enjoying perks and protocol and drawing substantive money in the form of salaries and TA, DA costing high to the nation at the cost of their deprivations

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  • Asm123
    Jan 19, 2015 - 7:59PM

    sad to see some people (PTI) foam at their mouths with delight from this situation. Not one person from any other party has offered any solution. Either put up or shutup and let this government handle this situation.

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  • A-No.1
    Jan 19, 2015 - 8:00PM

    Can anyone beleive this guy? Oh yes we do. We voted this lot in. They are above blame.

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  • Aamir - Toronto
    Jan 19, 2015 - 8:05PM

    PML-N and its ministers are compulsive liars, they will continue to mislead the ordinary people day in and day out without any remorse.

    I would like to know who benefited from this mess…….ordinary people are suffering due to lack of natural gas, electricity and now with patrol !!!

    This government is so inept, just bunch of buffoons running the show !!!

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  • Saleem
    Jan 19, 2015 - 8:11PM

    This minster has never heard the word of Competence.Recommend

  • woody
    Jan 19, 2015 - 8:22PM

    Has anybody ever accepted responsibility and resigned in Pakistan? Has any high level govt official ever been summarily fired?

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  • Ammar
    Jan 19, 2015 - 8:29PM

    Can we get anything more hilarious than this?

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  • salman
    Jan 19, 2015 - 8:37PM

    @Ammar:
    yes, a Live PM press conference…

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  • Anoni
    Jan 19, 2015 - 8:39PM

    As per you Mr Abbasi Demand increased by 30 % . Reserves were for 18 days ..

    This mean you are still left with 12 days fuel..

    Who are you trying to fool . Did you expected people to run the car of Green Grass.. when CNG is closed.

    It feels like you want the public to bang their head into wall because you simple shameless and incompetent at the least

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  • salman
    Jan 19, 2015 - 8:47PM

    @Asm123:
    But isn’t it sadder to see most experienced team of PMLN drop the ball like this?

    I didn’t realise that when they said “most experienced” they meant most experienced in being duffers!

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  • Junaid
    Jan 19, 2015 - 9:23PM

    first of all the minister should resign over this. If he does not resign then there is no point of firing the secretaries and additional secretaries etc. Those a clearly scape goats; but then again we should not expect accountability from this govt. The issue with NS is that he appoint his close friend and relatives to the major ministries and all he does after that is take notices and make committees.
    Increase in demand due to lower prices is the lamest excuse I ever heard from the minister. Although economically this does happens but it happens in countries where people have disposable income, not in a country like Pakistan where people cannot even get basic necessities.

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  • Agha
    Jan 19, 2015 - 9:44PM

    Some vested interests always create supply chain problems by causing shortages and then resort to black market. On top of that, the government functionaries do not pay the supplier on time (which may be intentional to extort bribes). While now there is some level of computerization that exist in the ministry of petroleum and petroleum companies, the solution may be in setting up EDI (Electronic Data Interchange) where the payment is automatically done to the vendor upon receipt of the ordered supply of petroleum product. Probably the ministry or whoever is supposed to pay, wont like this because they lose control and deprive them of the opportunity to extract bribe money.

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  • Jibran
    Jan 19, 2015 - 10:03PM

    PMLN’s good governance = excuses + committees + accusations + insinuations + incompetence + corruption

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  • Rao Amjad Ali
    Jan 19, 2015 - 10:07PM

    The SC should immediately take suo-motto notice of the wholesale incompetence/corruption which has been on display in full view of the public.

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  • Iftikhar Ahmad
    Jan 19, 2015 - 10:12PM

    Suspension of officials is an eye wash. They will be restored soon with full pay and allowances and they will have no problem. At loss will be people and loss of tax revenue.

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  • Babur Irfani
    Jan 19, 2015 - 10:44PM

    It is no use explaining what caused the issue.
    You are holding this position to manage a situation like this from not occurring in the first place. You Mr. Minister have failed at your job.

    Please resign!

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  • Pindi Kid
    Jan 19, 2015 - 10:49PM

    @Asm123: You are just as clueless as the PMLN and your PM. It is the responsibility of the govt. to find out what happened and to correct it, not of the opposition parties who do not have access to the ministries and govt offices responsible for this mess. In which democracy do the opposition parties come up with solutions to the government’s incompetence? Your comment is laughable. How about blaming this on the dharna as well, because IK did not allow these very smart and competent ministers to do their job of understanding price elasticity of demand economics? BTW no one is buying the white lie of 30% higher demand.

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  • Parvez
    Jan 19, 2015 - 11:47PM

    Solve crisis AT WHAT COST ?………who’s going to make millions ?

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  • Karachi Wally
    Jan 19, 2015 - 11:49PM

    All my relatives who were supporting PMLN are now embarrassed and going from pillar to post to look for petrol. It is no more PMLN and PPP never again. Please let us make new mistakes.

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  • mazhar
    Jan 19, 2015 - 11:51PM

    simple words.this crises means a lot of money for some. not a single resignation

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  • mamu
    Jan 19, 2015 - 11:54PM

    @Asm123: now u want PTI to advise the government?? Why not PMLN just leave the wrongly gotten seat in the parliament and hand over the helm to PTI if they want advise from them.

    I really don’t understand y they ask for advise? when they were hired as advisers.

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  • Pindi Kid
    Jan 19, 2015 - 11:54PM

    PM should be renamed to PC – Perpetually in Crisis. Whoever thought the 3rd term of these imcompetent jokers would be better has to have their heads examined. Zaradri to Nawaz Sharif gives new meaning to “aasman se gera khajoor mein atka”. Now all the TV commentators are forced to admit Musharraf govt was much much better, at least he had competent managers running the departments rather than unqualified thugs who happen to be Sharif relatives. How bad to we miss Musharraf now!

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  • mamu
    Jan 19, 2015 - 11:56PM

    Thank God the Dharna is not yet active. OR else PMLN would have blamed PTI for this also. Shame shame shame on them.

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  • Ali Gardaizi
    Jan 19, 2015 - 11:59PM

    I have to make a confession, after seeing the regular excuses of my party PMLN since last 2 years. I cannot further bare to support them any longer.

    I quit PMLN with a heavy heart.

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  • Azi
    Jan 20, 2015 - 1:20AM

    @Asm123:

    What exactly can pti or other parties do? Replace these family mafia thugs with people having the necessary skills? Only if it was doable, Pakistan would have been like Dubai.

    Govt has been trying to do what it should for a very long time and after every incident people like you say give them more time? You people need more time living like slaves in your own country to realize the thugs you guys have proudly elected.

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  • Zubair
    Jan 20, 2015 - 1:26AM

    This petroleum minister has no shame. Someone in his position in another country would have accepted the responsibility of this mess and resigned – he merely “regrets”

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  • Jan 20, 2015 - 2:03AM

    Thank God the Dharna is not yet activeRecommend

  • Naveed
    Jan 20, 2015 - 2:42AM

    Most incompetent people are running the country!
    You have to be a fool to get in to this mess!

    I am ashamed by this Pakistani Gov!

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  • AVMPolpot
    Jan 20, 2015 - 4:00AM

    Mr Minister
    ++++++++++++++
    Pls publish details of all ships carrying petrol to Pakistan and their dates of berthing.
    Pakistanis can then themselves forecast supply situation, a task that u hv miserably failed at.

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  • Engineer Shahid
    Jan 20, 2015 - 4:06AM

    Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, the well qualified electrical engineer got an education from Pakistan’s renowned institution, Lawrence College-Murree and further acquired higher education from States universities- University of California, Berkeley, George Washington University, according to the academic profile of Pakistan’s Federal Minister for Petroleum & Natural Resources(MNPR) . Superficially, very humble, known as an honest person and dedicated professional.
    However, the flipside of the picture portrays contradictory facts in the context of the Minister’s 18-Months performance at MNPR. Thus, all narrated traits regarding Minister’s performance, dedication and honesty has proved more as myth than reality.
    After taking charge of the one of the most sensitive Ministry of Pakistan, he mainly focused to sacrifice national interest over his own interest, avarice dominated. So, the Minster’s was very enthusiastic to strike deal with Qatar on purchasing LNG on exorbitant price, irrespective of compunction to further fragile the national exchequer. Fortunately, for Pakistan, the deal could not hold sway and foiled by vibrant patriotic experts and media.

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  • pakistani
    Jan 20, 2015 - 4:14AM

    people who are still defending PMLN… shame.. u deserve this crises..who r we trying to fool.. increase in demand… my foot..

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  • John
    Jan 20, 2015 - 5:07AM

    @Ali Gardaizi:
    Sorry for the rudeness mate but honestly you deserve it :)

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  • Igloo
    Jan 20, 2015 - 5:19AM

    @Asm123: Admit it NS has FAILED! Pmln has once again failed Pakistan just like they always do. Stop making stupid excuses up to hide your useless party’s inability to deliver it’s promises. Nawaz Sharif has spent more days outside of Pakistan in the past 1.5 years than here and yet you guys still blame IK even though he isn’t the PM, what do you want IK to do?Take a shovel and dig for oil? The entire PMLN leadership consists of two categories, corrupt thugs or brainless idiots and people like you support them? I guess the only explanation is you are just like them from one of the categories.

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  • a&a
    Jan 20, 2015 - 8:07AM

    PM is going to Davos…..??
    Rich of the Richest Forum……
    Poor people fighting for sachets of patrol……

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  • AVMPolpot
    Jan 20, 2015 - 9:05AM

    Shahid Khaqan Abbasi
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    The most hated person in Pakistan today, after the PM.

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  • AVMPolpot
    Jan 20, 2015 - 9:07AM

    ” “As a result, there has been a shortage and we are managing it.””
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    This guy is shameles.

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  • Proletarian
    Jan 20, 2015 - 9:12AM

    Their solution seems to be taking Petrol bound for Sindh and sending it to Punjab, this is creating a shortage in Sindh. I’ll say like my brothers said it above, Nawaz Sharif has failed. Please leave this country Nawaz and never come back, and take all your rotten relatives with you.

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  • Jan 20, 2015 - 9:17AM

    Minister sb how much money have you made during this crisis?

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  • FR
    Jan 20, 2015 - 9:25AM

    Criminal neglegence should be prosecuted in army courts.

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  • Pindi Kid
    Jan 20, 2015 - 9:51AM

    IF we accept the minister’s explanation then someone needs to tell these duffers running the government basic economics state that if you reduce price of a commodity then expect the demand to go up. Did they not know to buy additional petroleum BEFORE reducing the price? Secondly, maybe a middle school student can teach this duffer minister that 3,000 increase over 12,000 amounts to 25% increase, not 30% as he stated. But it is not his fault, as PMLN supporters are just as uneducated as the leaders they follow and they will buy these excuses easily.

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  • Mukhtar
    Jan 20, 2015 - 10:00AM

    @Igloo:
    You said it all. Amazing words.

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  • turbo
    Jan 20, 2015 - 10:07AM

    the minister looks more like an experienced loony then an experienced minister of Nawaz!

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  • Paindoo
    Jan 20, 2015 - 11:02AM

    One word for my fellow countrymen “Hor Chhoopoo”

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  • Aschraful Makhlooq
    Jan 20, 2015 - 12:13PM

    How shamefully Shahid Khaqan Abbasi is camouflaging and defending his demerits/weaknesses instead of resignation because if this happens in any other country the related minister would have resigned never defends his committed mistakes…..

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  • Jan 20, 2015 - 3:12PM

    And YES – We are a NUCLEAR POWER !
    BUT WITHOUT
    Electricity, Gas and Petrol !!!!!!!!!Recommend

  • chimes
    Jan 20, 2015 - 5:12PM

    @Asm123 : As much ‘experienced’ a team as pml(N) is , i am sure it didnt need any advice from others but still the opposition and the whole nation ,infact,is shouting out loud,advising to REMOVE NEPOTISM AND HIRE PEOPLE ON MERIT,but if the PM doesn’t listen then don’t blame it on us!!!

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  • FAM
    Jan 20, 2015 - 7:18PM

    ” Petroleum minister promises to solve fuel crisis this week ” appears to have been mistakenly said.
    Factually it had to be quoted as :-
    ” Petroleum minister promises to solve fuel crisis by the end of the NS tenure “

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  • Farrukh
    Jan 21, 2015 - 9:14PM

    PML-N and its ministers are compulsive liars, they will continue to mislead the ordinary people day in and day out without any remorse.
    I would like to know who benefited from this mess…….ordinary people are suffering due to lack of natural gas, electricity and now with patrol !!!
    This government is so inept, just bunch of buffoons running the show !!!Recommend

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