Pakistan Fuel Shortage Crisis Forces Sharif to Cancel Davos Trip

24 Jan 2015   Pakistan

Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif canceled a trip to attend the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, as the nation’s worst fuel shortages in memory threatened to revive street protests against him. Since the crisis began last week, he’s suspended five officials, including Pakistan State Oil Co.’s deputy chief, and has sought hourly updates on the situation. The government has sold fuel from its reserves and private companies have boosted supplies as anger grows over long waits at petrol stations. The cash-strapped distributor’s move this month to reduce shipments by 80 percent left it unable to meet a surge in demand after the government cut gas prices to match lower global costs. The Finance Ministry has arranged emergency funding to import oil, Power Minister Khawaja Asif said in a Jan. 21 text message. The crisis is a test of Pakistan’s credibility in the eyes of overseas investors, whose fivefold […]

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