ISLAMABAD: Diesel and petrol smuggled all the way from Iran is causing substantial loss to the national exchequer in the range varying somewhere close to 100 million rupees daily in the province of Sindh and Balochistan besides compromising safety of human life and vehicles.
Pakistan Petroleum Dealers Association (PPDA) Chairman Abdul Sami Khan has said that there are more than 500 stations with dispensers and roadside outlets in Karachi alone and its outskirts now as compared to 150-200 a few years back.
Sale of smuggled Iranian petrol and diesel is going on for a few years now and the number of such illegal outlets has increased sharply in many cities of Sindh and Balochistan provinces mainly in the provincial capitals.
A difference of Rs 7 to Rs 8 per litre in Iranian petrol and diesel in Karachi as compared to products of oil marketing companies (OMC) is luring public and private vehicle owners.
A petroleum dealer in Quetta said that Iranian petrol was available at Rs 8 per litre less than OMC product while smuggled Iranian diesel was sold at Rs 12 per litre low price than the price of OMC diesel in various parts of Balochistan.
PPDA has strived hard in the last eight to 10 years against the entry of smuggled products. “At least 20 FIRs in various Police Stations of Karachi against dabba stations and roadside facilities also failed to bear any results,” Khan said.
Scores of meetings with Customs officials, FBR, Ministry of Petroleum and explosive department also proved fruitless, he alleged.
“Sometimes the authorities become active but after a few days, the sale of smuggled products restarts,” he said.
Dealers opined that adding strict checks at the Iran-Pakistan border as well as intra-provincial borders, effective police crackdown and full cooperation of Commissioner and DCO of various cities can control this menace.