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Pakistan tries to improve fuel supplies

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The government has announced measures to improve supply of petroleum products during  rapid shutdown of industries in Pakistan. Under this, the intention has been expressed to stop the hoarding of these substances.

The Oil Companies Advisory Council (OCAC), an organization of oil companies, had sent a warning letter to the government. It said that imports from foreign companies through custom bonded storage systems are posing a big threat to the country’s economy. Domestic oil companies are also suffering huge losses due to this. The net result is that industries are shutting down.

OCAC chairman Waqar Siddiqui sent the letter to Petroleum Minister Mussadiq Malik. Only after that Malik announced to take new steps. The letter said- ‘We are of the firm opinion that the existing system will badly affect the free supply of oil in the country, which will destroy the industry sector. Implemented to save currency. But this plan is not based on correct understanding.

According to experts, Real problem of Pakistan is rapid decline in foreign exchange reserves. To save foreign exchange, Government of Pakistan is taking steps without taking everyone’s opinion. Whereas due to this the productive sectors of the economy have suffered huge losses.

Amid growing disquiet in the country, the Shehbaz Sharif government has once again expressed hope that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) will agree to a temporary arrangement for lending to Pakistan. In an attempt to signal to the IMF their intention, government sources on Wednesday said the country may impose an additional tax on petroleum products. At present, the petroleum development levy is Rs 50 per litre, which can be increased to Rs 55. The increased fee may be implemented from July 1.

But reports in Pakistani newspapers cast doubt on whether Pakistan will get an immediate loan from the IMF despite such steps. Quoting experts in the newspaper The News, the question has been asked whether the Government of Pakistan has received any memorandum of understanding from the IMF regarding economic and financial policies. It has been pointed out that it is baseless to expect a new loan without getting such a consent letter.

Pakistan government officials have told The News that documents of the MoU have been exchanged between the government and the IMF several times. But it is not yet clear whether the IMF has been satisfied with the ninth review related to the previous loan agreement with Pakistan. Talks between the IMF and Pakistan resumed on Tuesday. But there is no clear indication as to how far the matter has progressed.

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