LAHORE: Chairman Oil Marketing Association of Pakistan (OMAP) Tariq Wazir Ali on Wednesday demanded that government should provide relief to the oil marketing companies by reducing turnover tax and by reducing the load of cargo ships on the port.

While talking to Business Recorder he said that the main reason behind the increase in oil prices is an increase in its demand worldwide after the easing of coronavirus restrictions.

Tariq also said that despite performing better and creating more storage than large Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs), the small OMCs are facing a number of hurdles in running their businesses.

Tariq was of the view that small OMCs have created almost 50 percent storage for petroleum products in the country in only 15 years while the same storage capacity was built by large OMCs in the country for the last 70 years.

Despite increasing storage capacity government was saying that small OMCs who have 20 percent share in the market was responsible for the oil shortage in 2020.

Chairman OMAP explained that in 2020 there was a shortage of petroleum products in the country and small OMCs were blamed for that shortage while ignoring the fact that large OMCs have a market share of 80 percent.

On the contrary, the small companies kept their petrol pumps open in that situation and carried the burden of large OMCs, he said adding that if large companies could have performed well then there wouldn’t be any shortage in the country.

He added that government authorities like FIA, OGRA, FBR were asking for all details from small OMCS.

He alleged that the government was pressurizing small OMC’S only to please large players.

He went on to say that local OMCs are performing better than foreign companies because they understand the environment and needs of the people.

These local companies are getting local as well as foreign investment in the country but naming them as the mafia is affecting both local and foreign investment, he said. Government should implement policies for ease of doing business to support investment.

He added that OMAP had also called upon Minister for Petroleum Hammad Azhar last week in which he assured to fulfil all the demands of OMAP.

“Hammad Azhar has assured OMAP to consider the reservations and resolve the issues.

He said that he will call a meeting of all concerned organizations FBR and Finance Ministry for tax-related issues, Port and Shipping for loading and unloading of ships and OGRA for oil-related issues, to discuss the plights of OMCs,” Tariq Wazir Ali said.

He said that OMAP is satisfied with the positive attitude of Minister Energy Hammad Azhar and hoped for resolving long-standing issues including an annual increase in margin, license renewal, and other issues.

When asked about demands, he noted, immediate renewal of OMC licenses who are waiting to set up storage and retail outlets in the country, ending of a witch hunt against OMCs, immediate redressal of margins of OMCs to ensure that investors both local and international find it attractive to continue as well as expand their businesses, bringing the tax structure for OMCs in line with other corporate entities in Pakistan and stop the aggressive regime of Turnover Tax at 0.75%, introduce investor-friendly policies so OMCs are encouraged to invest in outlets to provide quality fuels at the right price, in the right quantity and

with a high quality of service.