Amid claims of adequate availability and the Pakistan government warning of stern action against hoarders, the shortage of petrol persists across Punjab province disrupting the routine life of the public at large.

The situation is worst in remote areas where the pumps have had no supplies for the last over a month, Dawn reported.

On the other hand, the Pakistan Petroleum Dealer Association (PPDA) has held all Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) responsible for not ensuring adequate supplies as per demand thus making the pumps dry and leaving the motorists with no option but to search for petrol in cities.

Rejecting the claim, the OMC Association of Pakistan (OMAP) said some pumps were involved in hoarding petrol and causing artificial shortages to earn more profits keeping in view the expected increase in petroleum prices.

"At present, 30 to 40 per cent of the total 450 pumps in Lahore and its outskirts have no petrol due to squeezed supplies from OMCs, including the largest public sector company and two international firms. Previously these three companies were never to be allegedly involved in such practices. But now they, like others, have started playing such tactics," PPPDA Punjab Information Secretary Khawaja Atif claimed.

He said similarly, several pumps are closed for many days in Gujranwala, Faisalabad, Sheikhupra, Sargodha, Sahiwal, Kasur and other districts, Dawn reported.

However, the situation is worst in the remote areas of various districts where the pumps are without the commodity for almost one month or so, Atif added.

Answering a question, he said that had the petrol pumps been involved in hoarding, they would have been penalised by the respective district administrations.