KARACHI: Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) has served Show Cause Notices (SCNs) on six oil marketing companies (OMCs) for fuel shortage at their retail outlets.

OGRA spokesperson Imran Ghaznavi said the SCNs had been served on Shel, Attock Petroleum, Hascol, Puma, Gas & Oil, and Total Parco on the basis of complaints received through PM’s Citizen Portal regarding shortage of fuel.

“#OGRA has advised Chief Secretaries of Punjab, Sindh, Baluchistan, KPK, Gilgit and Baltistan, AJK and Chief Commissioner Islamabad Capital Territory to ensure the availability of oil stocks at the retail outlet’s of OMCs,” Ghaznavi added.

Rule 53(x) of the Pakistan Oil (Relining, Blending, Transportation, Storage and Marketing) Rules, 2016, obligates every OMC/licensee that, “not to abandon any regulated activity, as a part or whole, resulting into discontinuation of supply of petroleum products or its sale in any area without the prior written consent of the authority.”

“The company has repeatedly been directed by the Authority to ensure availability of products at retail outlets to avoid any discontinuation of supplies in the country. According to the reports of electronic/ print media, complaints received from general public as well as physical verification through third party and OGRA officers, your company has partially abandoned the regulated activity of marketing by either discontinuation of supplies or provision of insufficient supplies at your retail outlets causing serious inconvenience and unrest in the masses besides contravention of the legal provision,” the Show Cause Notice to the OMCs read.

“In the wake of grave situation of un-availability of petrol/diesel and to protect the consumers’ interest for provision of uninterrupted supplies, you are hereby advised to Show Cause within 24 hours of the issuance of the Show Cause Notice as to why action against the company may not be proceeded under Rules-66 and 69 of the Pakistan Oil (Refining, Blending, Transportation, Storage and Marketing) Rules, 2016,” it said.

Rule-66 provides OGRA may revoke or suspend the license after giving an opportunity of show cause. Rule-69 provides OGRA may impose a fine, which may extend to Rs10 million and in case of a continuing contravention with a further fine of up to Rs1.0 million for every day during which the contravention continues.