OTCA calls off strike after extensive deliberations with Omar Ayub, July 18, 2020

OTCA calls off strike after extensive deliberations with Omar Ayub, July 18, 2020

         ISLAMABAD -Oil Tankers Contractors Association (OTCA) Saturday called off its strike after holding extensive deliberations with Minister for Energy Omar Ayub Khan and his team.

During the meeting, the OTCA delegation presented its issues and demands in the presence of officials of the departments concerned, which were taken up and mediated by the minister one-by-one for their early resolution, a Petroleum Division news release said.    

Representatives from provincial and federal government departments/agencies including Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) chairman, chairmen of provincial revenue authorities, Pakistan State Oil (PSO) managing director besides officials of Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) attended the meeting, which was chaired by Energy Minister Omar Ayub Khan.

After extensive deliberations, the OTCA called off its announced strike and both the sides reached the conclusions, which included that a joint team of the association and FBR would meet on July 20, Monday, to sort out the issue of increase in the income-tax.

“Procedural matters will be resolved as soon as possible and legislative requirement will be finalized for submission to Advisor on Finance and respective parliamentary forum.”

It was also decided that Sindh Revenue Board (SRB) would convene a meeting with other provincial revenue authorities at 9:30 a.m. on Monday to resolve the "input adjustment against Services Sales Tax". 

Meeting of the OTCA team would also be held with SRB at 12 p.m. to take a final decision in the matter. All other provincial revenue authorities - Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Balochistan and Punjab - agreed in principle to the proposal of the OTCA.

Similarly, the OTCA team would also meet Member (Gas) and Member (Finance) of OGRA on July 20, Monday, to resolve and finalize the issue of freight revision.

“OGRA may also consider the deadline for compliant tank lorries extension up to the time when multi-product movement commences through White Oil Pipeline (WOP). Primary movement may not be allowed after the operationalization of WOP however, after the operationalization of the pipeline, secondary movement will continue for 1.5 years [18 months] for up-gradation of secondary vehicles.”

The meeting also decided to conduct two studies in a two-week time by Petroleum Institute of Pakistan in consultation with Oil Companies Advisory Council and OTCA/OGRA.

The studies would be meant for determining the number of compliant vehicles required for transportation throughout the country after operationalization of WOP in normal times and in case of any emergent shutdown of WOP. “Phenomena of dumping of petroleum products due to commercial loading and usage of vehicles on self-collection basis,” it added.

During the meeting, the two sides also agreed that the PSO would maintain single queue for transport vehicles as per the decision of the Sindh High Court.

As per the understanding reached during the meeting, the OGRA would also issue necessary instructions to all oil marketing companies for providing facilities of clean drinking water, filtration units, mosque, rest rooms, coolers, washrooms, etcetera at oil depots.

The Petroleum Division clarified that at present no plan was under consideration for deregulation of freight pool.