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Thursday, August 5, 2021

Qatar inspectors temporarily shut Lusail petrol station over pricing

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Inspectors from the Ministry of Economy and Commerce temporarily close a petrol station in Lusail.
Inspectors from the Ministry of Economy and Commerce temporarily close a petrol station in Lusail.

Government inspectors have temporarily closed a petrol station in Lusail for a week, escalating an enforcement campaign against facilities that issue fraudulent receipts.

While the ministry did not identify the business, photos suggest it is a privately-run station in the Onayza Complex on Al Jamiaa Street, just past the Doha Golf Club.

The move comes slightly more than a month after the Ministry of Economy and Commerce found 11 cases of price manipulation at eight unnamed fuel stations across the country.

At the time, the MEC warned petrol station owners to monitor their employees more carefully and issued a circular reminding them to issue complete and accurate invoices.

 

MEC penalizes gas stations
MEC penalizes gas stations

According to government inspectors, some petrol station attendants were inflating invoices in collusion with drivers who were using their employers’ vehicles.

This allowed the driver to charge their employer a higher amount for petrol and pocket the difference.

The ministry said its investigation suggested this practice continued to take place at a petrol station in Lusail.

Some residents have previously suggested that outfitting more petrol pumps with automated receipt printers could help solve the problem.

Woqod fuel station
Woqod fuel station

While temporary, the closure of the Lusail petrol station is the latest private fuel outpost to shut in Qatar.

It follows more permanent closures of private stations, such as the Markhiya Petrol Station near Burger King signal, the petrol station near Villaggio Mall, the petrol station just north of Landmark Mall and the old Al Andalus Petrol Station on C-Ring Road.

At the same time, state fuel company Woqod is rapidly expanding its network of retail facilities and plans to nearly quadruple the number of petrol stations to 100 by 2019, up from 29 last November.

However, Woqod officials said there is no plan to close or replace Qatar’s remaining private operators.

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