The Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) has imposed a fine of Rs 1.5 crore on three oil marketing companies over the petrol crisis in the country.
The companies that were fined include Byco, Oscar and BE Energy who were fined Rs 50 lakh each.
According to OGRA, notices were issued to the companies in early June stating the reasons for the oil crisis and fines were imposed for unsatisfactory responses submitted by the companies.
Earlier in the second week of June, OGRA had imposed fines of Rs 4 crore on six oil marketing companies, including Attock Petroleum, Puma, Gas & Oil Pakistan, Hescole Petroleum, Shell Pakistan and Total Parco.
It may be recalled that on June 1, after the reduction in the prices of petroleum products by the government, a petrol crisis had erupted in the country which could not be overcome despite the notice of the government and OGRA.
However, on June 26, as soon as the government increased the prices of petroleum products by 25 rupees to 58 paise, the shortage of petrol and diesel in the country was over.
The government had reduced the total price of petroleum products by Rs 56.89 per litre during the lockdown due to Coronavirus.
From March 25 to June 1, petrol was reduced by Rs 37.07 per litre, while the price of high-speed diesel was reduced by Rs 42.10 per litre, while kerosene by Rs 56.89 and light diesel by Rs 39.37 per litre. Cheaper per litre.
On May 31, the government had announced a further reduction of Rs 7 per litre in the price of petrol, after which it was reduced to Rs 74.52 per litre.
However, the very next day, June 1, there was a severe shortage of petrol across the country.
On the same day, the Petroleum Division sent a letter to the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) stating that the possible increase in petroleum products from July 1, 2020, by Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs). The supply of products at retail outlets across the country can be reduced to maximize financial gain.
It said that as a regulator to avoid a crisis situation, OGRA should direct OMCs to ensure supply of stocks at every retail outlet in the country.
On June 3, OGRA had issued show-cause notices to six oil marketing companies over the petrol standoff, while raids on oil depots across the country were also carried out on complaints of petrol storage.
However, no significant progress was made in ensuring the supply of petrol.
Due to the persistent shortage of petrol across the country, on June 8, the government decided in principle to ‘completely deregulate’ the price and marketing of petrol and to abolish the system of uniform pricing.
In addition, the Petroleum Division of the Ministry of Energy has formed an eight-member committee to find out the companies involved in the shortage and storage of petrol in the country.
On June 11, OGRA blamed six major oil marketing companies (OMCs) for the nationwide petroleum crisis and imposed a total fine of Rs 4 crore on them.
Oil companies and refineries, on the other hand, blamed the bureaucracy for the current shortage of petrol in the country, saying the failure to decide on imports and increase domestic production had created a crisis.
Later, on June 26, the government announced a sudden increase in the prices of petroleum products, including petrol and diesel, by 27 to 66 per cent, or Rs 25.58 paise, and this was implemented immediately instead of at the beginning of the month.