THANKS to the understanding reached between the Government and the All Pakistan Petrol Pumps Dealers Association, the looming threat of severe shortage of petrol in the length and breadth of the country has been averted.
After their successful negotiations, the Government conceded demand of the Association for an increase in their profit margin and the dealers called off their strike.
Privately owned petrol pump owners had announced an indefinite strike to press for their demand for a hefty nine rupee a litre increase in their margin but, after negotiations, the Government agreed to a 25% increase, which would mean revision of the rate of the margin from the existing Rs 3.91 litre to Rs 4.90 a litre.
However, the most worrying part of the agreement for the consumers is that the Government has agreed to revise the margin after six months in keeping with the rate of inflation.
The Government has already announced a monthly increase of Rs 4 a litre in the prices of petroleum products on account of Petroleum Development Levy (PDL) and together with increase in the profit margin of dealers and possible upward readjustment in prices based on trends of the international market would push the end price of the oil significantly with implications for overall price-hike in the country.
All this shows the Government is least bothered about the impact of inflation on the masses and its decisions are motivated only by consideration of increased revenue collection and providing benefits to pressure groups, leaving citizens at the mercy of circumstances.
This is least expected from an elected government and that too when the next general election is due after one and a half years.