PM directs ministries to improve coordination for smooth petrol supply

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif - AFP/File

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif chaired a meeting Thursday on the petrol crisis in the country during which he directed all the concerned ministries to coordinate seamlessly in order to ensure steady supply of petrol in all parts of Pakistan, said a report published on Radio Pakistan.

Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, Water and Power Minister Khawaja Asif attended the meeting. However, Petroleum Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi could not show up as he had to travel abroad to attend a session on Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) imports.

The premier had earlier cancelled a visit to Switzerland to address the worsening fuel crisis in the country.

Take a look: PM Nawaz cancels Davos trip as criticism grows over petrol crisis

During today's meeting, the premier vowed to take action against all those responsible for the crisis and creating difficulties for ordinary Pakistanis.

He had earlier directed concerned departments to inform the public about petrol supply and dispel the idea of fuel shortage.

Earlier on Tuesday, the prime minister had chaired a meeting during which he reviewed the petroleum situation in the country, and issued directives for structural changes in order to ensure that the current petroleum crisis situation does not arise again.

The two-member committee tasked to inquire into this matter presented their initial findings to PM Nawaz, informing him that the petrol shortage was a serious failure on the part of the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra) as a regulator.

The premier has suspended five top officials over the crisis, which has seen buses taken off the roads and angry scuffles at petrol stations, with tempers fraying as people waited in long queues for fuel. Some filling stations were forced to close.

Examine: Ogra responsible for petrol crisis, PM Nawaz told

Anger is growing over the shortage amongst Pakistanis — who already have to deal with chronic power cuts that can see them struggle without electricity for 12 hours a day or more — at a time of a global glut in oil supplies.

Solving the country's energy crisis was a key campaign pledge for Sharif in the run-up to the 2013 general election, and the shortage is heaping fresh pressure on his government.

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