As reports emerged that the government might increase the price of petroleum products, people were sent into a frenzy and started queuing up at petrol pumps in several cities. People lined up at petrol filling stations across several cities – Islamabad and Rawalpindi – apart from Karachi to get the essential commodity at a cheaper rate as they feared that they would get petrol at a costly rate after the hike. A representative of the petrol pump association told a private TV channel that the supply has been stopped and tankers have lined up outside oil depots for refilling. The official asked the OMCs to restart the supply of petroleum products as if the reserves of the petrol pumps run out, then businesses will be severely affected. “We are in talks with oil supply companies regarding the matter,” he added. Later, Finance Minister Miftah Ismail rebutted reports and clarified that the government has no plans to hike the price of petroleum products. “There will be no increase in prices on Tuesday, and there is no summary or plan to raise prices,” the finance minister said in a tweet after media reports quoted him as saying that petrol prices will move up further. “In the pre-budget seminar I never even spoke about petroleum prices. Channels running these tickers are doing a disservice to their viewers,” the finance minister said. Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority’s (OGRA) spokesperson, in a statement, said the country has abundant reserves of petrol and the government has no intention to raise prices. “Oil marketing companies have also been directed to ensure smooth supply of petrol to filling stations,” the spokesperson said.