The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Thursday suspended Punjab Chief Minister (CM) Hamza Shehbaz’s electricity relief package, “Roshan Gharana Programme”, which offers free electricity to households that consume up to 100 units till July 17.

Hamza Shehbaz announced on Monday that the provincial government would bear the power cost of households consuming up to 100 units of electricity in a month.

A three-member bench of the ECP headed by Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sikandar Sultan Raja issued a stay order against the implementation of the CM’s announcement.

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The ECP sought a reply from the provincial chief executive on July 7.

The reply submitted by Hamza’s counsel stated that the CM’s relief package is for the entire province except for the constituencies where the by-polls are being held.

“No election is being staged in areas where Gujranwala Electric Power Company (GEPCO) supplies electric power,” Hamza’s counsel maintained.

At this, CEC Sultan asked why Hamza held a separate press conference if the programme was already included in the budget.

“The announcement garnered more reaction than the programme’s approval in the budget. There was no need to make a separate announcement for it if was already a part of the budget,” the CEC remarked.