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Tuesday August 16, 2022

Free electricity: PTI pens letter to SC against Hamza Shahbaz’s ‘relief package’

Fawad Chaudhry says Hamza Shahbaz used relief granted by top court for political gain

By Web Desk
July 05, 2022
Fawad Chaudhry. Photo: PID/file
Fawad Chaudhry. Photo: PID/file 

LAHORE: Terming Punjab Chief Minister Hamza Shahbaz’s announcement about free electricity for households that consume up to 100 units of power ahead of the by-elections a "violation of the court orders and an attempt to gain political mileage", PTI's senior leader Fawad Chaudhry on Tuesday wrote a letter to the Supreme Court against the “relief package” of the chief minister.

REferring to the SC's ruling in the Punjab CM's election case, Fawad Chaudhry, in his letter, said that the apex court had ordered that the chief minister could only use necessary powers till July 22.

Declaring the free electricity package a “fake package”, the PTI leader said that Hamza used the relief granted by the top court for political gain.

"It is an attempt to influence the conduct of elections in a free and fair manner", he added.

Free power for those using up to 100 units

A day earlier,  Hamza announced the provincial government would bear the power cost of households consuming up to 100 units of electricity in a month.

Addressing a press conference at Model Town, he said, "I was told not to take big decisions without the cabinet's consent to steer the backward class out of difficult economic conditions. I was told that it could become a NAB case, but I said that I am ready to face any difficulty to give relief to people."

He said the Punjab government would bear the utility expenses of consumers who use up to 100 units of electricity under the Punjab Chief Minister Roshan Gharana Programme. The government has set aside Rs100 billion for the relief programme, which would benefit nine million families in the province, he added. About half of the population of the province would be provided free electricity from this month and the Punjab government would pay the bills in August, he explained. "This will act as an incentive for those who use more than 100 units of electricity to save energy," Hamza hoped.

The chief minister said the government would also provide free solar panels to the people in need so that they could shift to alternative sources of electricity.

CM Hamza said the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Programme would continue and international donors would also come, adding that the friendly countries would help Pakistan. "The economic situation will be back on track," he promised. He vowed that “the genie of inflation will be put back into the bottle and the dying economy will be revived with the grace of Allah Almighty and help of masses”.

Berating the PTI, the chief minister said that the nation would hold the party leaders accountable. "The PTI government ruined the economy and Imran Khan will have to give an account of the foreign funding, Toshakhana, and Farah Gogi's corruption of billions of rupees."