ISLAMABAD: A recent testing drive carried out by Oil & Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA), showed that leading petroleum marketing companies were using almost two times more manganese in their fuel than the prescribed limit, raising serious questions over the quality of fuel available with them.
OGRA on the complaint of Atlas Honda, took samples from PSO, Shell and Total fueling stations. Testing of the samples showed that these companies were adding 54mg manganese against the standard 24mg in each litre of cheap fuel to enhance its quality.
Petroleum Commission’s report presented to the federal cabinet in its meeting held early in this week, highlighted that Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) and petrol pump owners have been mixing chemicals into the fuel.
The report highlighted that besides other chemicals these companies are mixing manganese and Naphtha in petrol. Atlas Honda had filed a complaint that petroleum products available at fuel stations were mostly of poor quality. This not only compromises efficiency of vehicles but also leads to extra cost in terms of rapid wear and tear to the end consumer, beside hazardous to the environment.
The report further said that Pakistan is suffering more than Rs240 billion loss every year due to the smuggling of Petroleum products from Iran.
Petroleum products, especially motor spirit (MS) and high speed diesel (HSD), are smuggled into Pakistan from Taftan border with Iran.
The authorities during the year 2019-20 seized 27,911,746 litre petrol and 997,037,434 litres of smuggled diesel.
The report stated that the net loss of revenue on the seized product was around Rs48bn in one year as the government is collecting Rs36.27 sales tax, petroleum levy as well as customs duty on every litre of MS and Rs47.22 on HSD.
However, the commission is of the opinion that the seized product was only 20 per cent of the actual smuggled quantity.
The petroleum commission report further said that the business of smuggled product is thriving as it offers a far handsome profit as compared to the margins allowed under the official pricing mechanism.
The commission revealed that 486 filling stations were identified across Pakistan and some of them had monthly MS purchases as high as 600,000 litres.
There is also a dire need for mobile testing units, the report noted, adding that in coordination with the district administration, such units should routinely check the quality of petroleum products at retail outlets and depots in their area of jurisdiction to curb this menace.