LAHORE: Punjab Chief Minister Hamza Shehbaz has said that the government will provide free electricity to domestic consumers using up to 100 units per month.
While addressing a press conference here on Monday, he said that nine million households or 550 million people of the province would benefit from the relief and the government had reserved Rs 100 billion for it.
He said that it was also being reviewed that solar power should replace the current energy sources for these consumers so that free electricity for them also continues in future. He said that under the proposed model, the government would provide solar panels to such consumers, and the private sector would also be encouraged for the purpose.
He said that the government was fully aware of problems of the common man and it was taking measures to address them. “I have no right to continue in this seat if people find it hard to make ends meet,” he added.
Hamza assured that the issue of the price hike would also be overcome in the coming days and the economic situation would soon return to normality.
“The International Monetary Fund (IMF) programme will continue, and other international donor will also come here,” he said, adding that the friendly countries will also help Pakistan.
He said that the government took difficult decisions to save the country, instead of its politics, and definitely every decision has it political price.
The chief minister said that when the PML-N government tenure came to an end in 2018, Pakistan’s growth rate was standing at 5.8 per cent, and there was no load-shedding in the country. What happened in the past four years that the growth rate went down to zero, whereas the menace of load-shedding surfaced again, he asked.
He said that his government faced constitutional and legal crises during the past three months, but it continued taking steps for provision of relief to masses. He said that the government gave a Rs 200 billion subsidy on flour and now Rs 160 subsidy was being given on 10-kg flour bag and the common man was also getting free medicines, even for cancer treatment, at THQs, DHQs and teaching hospitals. Also, a good local government law was introduced during this period, he added.
Criticising the previous government, the chief minister said that the nation would hold the PTI leaders accountable in coming elections.
“The PTI government ruined the economy, and Imran Khan will have to be answerable for the foreign funding, Toshakhana, and Farah Khan’s corruption of billions of rupees.” A whole line of wrest watches had been set up in the state of Madina, and a fake company was formed to get a plot of Rs 600 million for peanuts, he added.
He said that the PML-N would secure majority seats in the by-polls, to be held on July 17.