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Pakistan Top Stories

Dar terms petrol crisis as conspiracy against govt

ISLAMABAD: Federal Finance Minister Senator Muhammad Ishaq Dar on Monday said that the petrol shortage is a conspiracy against a democratic government whereas government has not yet decided that who is accountable for this crisis.

Dar said action would be taken against those companies which had not kept adequate supplies of petrol. The finance minister dispelled the impression that the petrol crisis was linked to an inadequate supply of funds. He said the finance ministry has nothing to do with the petrol shortage crisis.

Dar admitted that there had been mismanagement and added that Petroleum Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi was leading an investigation to determine who is behind the crisis.
While addressing a press conference finance minister further said that Pakistan State Oil (PSO) had not made any contact with the Finance Minister thus far. Ishaq Dar clarified that Ministry of Finance is not responsible for the continuous petrol crisis however; the shortage has worsened due to the shipping department’s negligence.
He further denied the allegation of giving the money reserved for petroleum products to the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and assured to probe the issue whereas he also vowed to take strict action against those who didn’t stock petrol to counter any alarming situation.
In response to a question, Ishaq Dar added that the monitoring of Pakistan State Oil (PSO) management is not a duty of Finance Ministry and alleged the relevant departments of not storing petroleum products.
“We have no business with PSO (Pakistan State Oil)…the finance ministry doesn’t owe a single penny to PSO as of now,” he said.
He said that it was the responsibility of the Ministry of Water and Power to recover its dues and make payments to the PSO, adding the finance ministry steps in wherever its help is sought.
He said that he did not want to get involved in any blame game, adding that the prime minister is chairing a meeting later on to find out who is responsible.
Finance Minister assured that the petrol crisis will be overcome in a matter of few days. He said responsibility of the petrol shortage will be fixed after thorough investigation into the crisis.
He said the oil companies including Pakistan State Oil are responsible to maintain a minimum stock. It was fault on their part that the people had to face difficulties. He said the ministry of finance has nothing to do with the purchase of petrol and it does not owe anything to the PSO. However, we have extended support to the PSO when it approached us.
He said the government has taken notice of the situation and efforts are afoot to improve the petrol supplies.
In his opening statement on his visit to Japan, the Finance Minister was confident this will open new vistas of cooperation in different sectors between the two countries.
Finance Minister said Japan International Cooperation Agency has reassure that it will finance hundred billion Yen Lakhra Power project.  He said Yamaha Motorcycle plant will also be operational in Pakistan by the end of April this year.
He said his Japan visit helped filled the information gap between the two countries created during the last three to four years. He said Rs 480 billion is provided in form of subsidy on electricity to masses. Ishaq Dar said he received letter of Jehangir Tareen when he was in Japan, adding that the government has no problem regarding the formation of judicial commission if PTI is ready to talk on facts. He said any demand against the law and constitution would not be accepted. 

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