LAHORE: Announcing electricity relief package, Punjab Chief Minister Hamza Shehbaz said on Monday that free electricity will be provided to all the electricity consumers of the province using 100 units for which the Punjab government has earmarked Rs100 billion.
The Punjab government will pay the bills of more than nine million families using 100 units of electricity, he said. “About half of the population of the province will be provided free electricity from this month and the Punjab government will pay the bills in August.”
Addressing a press conference at Model Town, Hamza Shehbaz said, “I was told not to take big decisions without the approval of cabinet to wriggle the backward class out of difficult economic conditions. It could become a NAB case but I said that I am ready to face any difficulty to give relief to the people.”
The CM announced that the Punjab government would pay the full bill of consumers using up to 100 units of electricity per month under the “Punjab Chief Minister Roshan Gharana Programme.” In view of the financial difficulties being faced by the destitute due to inflation, this programme is being launched and around 55.4 million families will be provided free electricity from July 1st.
Under the programme, the government will pay the bills and all taxes and duties of the consumers using up to 100 units of electricity, he further said. In this regard, the consumers using 100 units of electricity in the last six months will be able to avail the facility, he added.
Within a year, he said the Punjab government would also start solar energy projects as an alternative source of energy to produce and provide solar energy to the needy people across the province.
The CM said the incumbent government is fully aware of the plight of the people and this programme is being launched to provide free electricity to destitute families across the province. In view of the difficult economic situation, the government has to increase the rates of electricity and petrol with a heavy heart, he added. But it is fully aware of the difficulties of the common man and every effort is being made to provide relief to the general public while working hard to improve the economy, he added.
Hamza said he has been working hard to provide relief to the people from the day first and Rs200 billion subsidy is also given for subsidized flour. “I was advised not to do this without the cabinet because the NAB would question it tomorrow but I replied that people needed it,” he explained.
He further said that free medicines are being provided in all district and tehsil headquarters hospitals of Punjab while cancer patients have also started getting free medicines. This government passed the best Local Bodies Act from the assembly in a short period and today, it is going to give the third biggest relief to the people of the province, he said.
He said such kind of relief has not been given to the common man in the history of Pakistan. The government is also planning to provide solar panels to consumers who use 100 units of electricity so that they could get rid of electricity bills permanently. The steps taken for providing subsidized flour, free medicine and electricity are not meant for some political gains but the aim is to alleviate the sufferings of the people.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2022