A nation without fuel: Shafaqna Exclusive

SHAFAQNA-Pakistanis are that ill-fate nation that is often facing acute shortage of one thing or the other. Apart from electricity , sugar crisis, wheat crisis and several other and now Fuel crisis has added further insult to injuries. One would be hard pressed to find many countries facing fuel shortage in today’s age of cheap oil. Yet despite Brent crude having gone through the floor in the international market – and the N-government taking credit for reducing prices that owed to outside factors – parts of the country have been without fuel for days. In some parts, especially in Punjab and KP, long queues at petrol pumps, which require people to wait for their turn for many hours, have even led to rioting. Yet the government is more or less mute – in sharp contrast to recent rhetoric, where senior ministers took credit for making fuel more affordable – and there are little chances of a durable solution presenting itself anytime soon.

The matter, once again, pertains to the circular debt, and PSO’s inability to pay its dues. On the latter, there is hardly anything to write home about. PSO has been chronically bankrupt for years, forming a habit of asking for bailouts every now and then. And sceptics can be forgiven for not taking all of its cries of help at face value. And on the former, no wonder the government is quiet, since it has had a hard time of avoiding calls for the audit for its lump sum Rs500 billion bailout last year. Nobody knows where the money went or how it was prioritised. But everybody knows, though, that it took barely a year-and-a-half to climb back up to the level it first took five years getting to.

So what if the government’s promise – of sorting out the fuel problem by Monday/Tuesday – once again proves false?

Though PM has cut short his visit to KSA and suspended some senior officials yet the problem remains same. PM should understand that until and unless competent individual will be appointed on key post such issues would continue to haunt the country

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