INTERVIEW WITH ABDUL SAMI KHAN, CHAIRMAN PAKISTAN PETROLEUM DEALERS ASSOCIATION & CHAIRMAN CNG DEALERS ASSOCIATION

KHALIL AHMED
(feedback@pgeconomist.com)
July 25 - 31, 20
11

PAGE: TELL US SOMETHING ABOUT YOURSELF?

ABDUL SAMI: I graduated from Aligarh University. I am very fond of travelling and have travelled all over the world. Currently, I am Chairman Pakistan Petroleum Dealers Association, Chairman CNG Dealers Association, Chairman Standing Committee on Law and Order FPCCI, President Clifton Block-2 Resident Association, Member Executive Committee AMU Old Boys Association. I have served as MPA from Sindh, Vice President Karachi Chamber of Commerce & Industry.

I was the founding member Pakistan Peoples Party, served as the first counselor of PPP at Karachi Municipal Corporation, during my term as a counselor in 1965. PECHS was under my jurisdiction. I planned Kashmir Complex in which swimming pool, playground and other facilities were constructed.

In the same period, a big dispensary was built in Sindhi Muslim Corporate Housing Society. As vice president KCCI, when gas was banned to textile industry, I tried to convince the government and succeeded to give new connections to the textile industry which benefited to the textile and export. For philanthropic purpose, I donated building in Civil Hospital. As President Clifton Block-2 Resident Association, I struggled in the restoration of supply of water in Block-2. Chevron celebrated my 50 years dealership of Caltex.

PAGE: WHAT ARE YOUR COMMENTS ON THE OIL AND GAS SECTOR OF PAKISTAN?

ABDUL SAMI: Pakistan's gas sector is dreadful. In the last three years, four petroleum secretaries, three ministers, and three oil and gas heads have been changed. The sector has been managed on ad-hoc basis and is not well organized. I believe southern gas company is more efficient than northern gas company.

PAGE: WHAT KIND OF IMPACT HAVE YOU NOTICED IN THE BUSINESS ACTIVITIES AFTER THE GOVERNMENT DECISION OF TAXATION AND CLOSURE OF CNG STATIONS FOR FEW DAYS A WEEK?

ABDUL SAMI: If oil and gas sector had planned, there would have been a substantial decrease in load shedding witnessed in recent years. Due to desultory moves, CNG was also affected due to CNG load shedding. CNG is also considered to be the cheapest fuel in Pakistan where majority of the transports (taxis, minibuses, rickshaw, wagons, private vehicles etc.) are run on CNG. Moreover, CNG consumption is reducing burden on our foreign exchange. But still the government is trying to increase its prices placing it equivalent to petrol. Billions of investment has already been made in this sector. Had the government announced CNG policies 10 years ago regarding their intentions as not being interested in promoting CNG as a fuel, the investors would have not borrowed money for investing in CNG to witness ruins and wrecks.

PAGE: WHAT ARE YOUR COMMENTS ON PROFIT MARGINS OF THE DEALERS?

ABDUL SAMI: In 1995, we had an agreement with the government that the margin to the dealer would be five per cent. In 2002, our margin was down to four per cent, currently the margin is only 1.5 per cent. We have been in a constant struggle to convince the government to raise our profit margins since with reduced margins we cannot manage our business. The government has been consistently ignoring our genuine problems, which is why we went on strike on 28th February. The ministry of petroleum called us five times for the meetings. They always promised us that profit margins would be increased but promises were not fulfilled.

PAGE: WHAT DO SAY ABOUT THE INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITIES IN OIL AND GAS SECTOR?

ABDUL SAMI: There are many investment opportunities in the oil and gas sector of Pakistan, especially in Sindh and Baluchistan, where huge reserves of gas and oil are available. After exploration, we can also export these petroleum products.

PAGE: YOUR VIEWS ABOUT IMPACT OF DISTURBED LAW AND ORDER SITUATION ON THE SECTOR?

ABDUL SAMI: It is the government's responsibility to improve law and order situation in the country. It should provide security and protection to investors. If this is implemented, then Pakistan can be in a position to export petroleum products abroad and economic and infrastructural development will also take place in these areas.