Ministry suggests keeping oil stocks for 30 days

ISLAMABAD: The Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources has asked economic decision-makers to amend the policy of keeping oil stocks as it wants the stock requirement for oil marketing companies (OMCs) to be enhanced from 20 to 30 days over a period of three years, says an official.

In an effort to closely monitor the system, the ministry has sought to establish a mechanism to check the commercial stock position of OMCs by introducing an online inventory system and fuel-marker system.

At present, OMCs are bound to keep stocks for 20 days and if the new proposal is approved, they will be bound to maintain inventories for 30 days according to their licensing condition.

The policy amendment has been designed in order to stave off any fuel crisis in the future. Pakistan, especially Punjab, encountered acute fuel shortages in January 2015 that led to the suspension of key officials of the petroleum ministry and Pakistan State Oil (PSO) – the state oil marketing major.

Oil stocks are considered a vital part of the defence line in case of an emergency situation in a country. The military establishment had voiced concern at the time of the oil crisis.

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