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Posted On: 10 November 2009 05:17 pm
Updated On: 12 November 2020 02:10 pm

Diesel crisis blamed on hoarding

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A temporary diesel crisis that hit some petrol stations in the country recently following alleged hoarding and black marketing by some shady operators is over, it is learnt. The Ministry of Interior had to intervene and come up with a novel idea of setting up a number of committees with petrol station workers also on them, to keep a strict vigil on the affected facilities. The move paid off instant dividend as the hoarding and black marketing of the fuel, largely used in transport, power generators and industrial boilers, ceased. The CEO of Qatar Fuel (Woqod), Mohamed Turki Al Subai, admitted in remarks to Al Sharq that workers of some petrol stations were hand-in-glove with shady operators and selling them additional quantities of diesel which led to the shortage. “Several committees with petrol station workers also as members were formed and they are keeping round-the-clock vigil on the affected filling facilities, so the problem is over,” he said. “There is no shortage of the fuel any more,” he said. The crisis came to light when lorries lining up for diesel at these petrol stations formed serpentine queues and were told of sudden shortages before they returned disappointed. Qatar Fuel was informed and the Interior Ministry, in turn, was alerted, which set up several committees to check the malpractice with immediate effect. Diesel is subsidised in Qatar for use in transport and companies needing additional quantities for their large vehicle fleets or for use in industrial boilers or electricity generators need to buy it from the open market at much higher rates. The subsidised rate of diesel here is 60 dirhams a litre while the open market rate is QR3.50, which explains hoarding and black marketing of this key fuel. And the irony is that due to the rising local demand, Qatar imports diesel at higher prices and sells at lower rates for the benefit of the people and smaller companies at large. But shady elements hand-in- glove with some petrol station workers occasionally indulge in hoarding and black marketing leading to sudden shortages.