ISLAMABAD          -      The Competition Commission of Pakistan (CCP) Thursday taken notice of the public concerns and complaints regarding the shortage of petroleum products in country and initiated an enquiry to see whether such shortage is the result of any anti-competitive activity. The CCP is empowered under the Competition Act, 2010 to ensure that businesses do not engage in anti-competitive activities including abuse of dominant position or cartelization that may result in the shortage of supplies or unreasonable increase in prices of products, said a press release issued here. Sudden shortage of fuel across country at a time when the Government has reduced prices followed by low demand due to COVID-19 pandemic, arises suspicion that artificial shortage might have been created either by limiting supply at the Oil Marketing Companies, and/or hoarding at the distribution level. Further the possibility of abuse of dominant position by these companies in certain areas cannot be ruled out. The Government’s decision to provide relief to the consumers by reducing price of fuel appear to have irked the business undertakings to make desired profits. The CCP’s enquiry will determine the possibility of existence of any anti-competitive practices causing the shortage of fuel in the country and the undertakings involved in it.

The enquiry will further examine why the impact of reduction in the prices of oil have not resulted in the corresponding reduction in the prices of the lubricants and other oil-based products, including the prices of hi-octane, which are primarily deregulated products.