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Govt imposes temporary ban on establishment of oil marketing companies

ISLAMABAD: The government has banned the establishment of new oil marketing companies (OMCs) in the country until a new criteria for setting up OMCs is worked out and approved.

The Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra) said that Ministry of Petroleum has imposed a moratorium on applications for the establishment of new OMCs by local investors with effect from Jan 9, 2019, till the new criteria are approved by the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet.

Petroleum Division has advised Ogra not to accept any new applications from local investors except foreign investors for the issuance of a licence in the intervening period.

Petroleum Division is revising the criteria for setting up of OMCs for which a draft summary has been forwarded to the concerned departments.

According to reports, large OMCs are urging the government to stop non-serious investors from opening marketing companies as it negatively affected their markets as the existing criteria allowed a minimum investment of just Rs500 million.

The Petroleum Division now plans to increase the minimum investment requirement by 12 times to Rs6bn for each licensee.

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