Minister for Information and Broadcasting Marriyum Aurangzeb on Wednesday declared that the provision of free electricity to the poor people consuming upto 100 units per month was not a development scheme, rather part of the budget presented by the Punjab government for the fiscal year 2022-23. “It is on record that the Punjab government announced Roshan Gharana Programme in its budget for the current fiscal year, which also includes all the details, especially for financing the free electricity for those who will be consuming upto 100 units per month in the province,” she said while addressing a news conference. Divulging details of the scheme, she said an amount of Rs 100 billion had been allocated for the scheme in the current fiscal year’s budget, which would benefit around 4.5 million people in summer and 8.7 million in the winter season. Collectively, she said, some 55 million people would be covered under the scheme which was clearly reflected in the budgetary document. Unfortunately, now the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, whose government robbed every sector of Punjab through Imran Khan’s front person Farah Gogi, was hell bent on depriving 55 million people of the free-electricity relief. Instead of directing the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government to take the initiative on the same lines of the Punjab government, Imran Khan moved the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to rob the people of Punjab from relief, she added. “This is not a development scheme. They (PTI leaders) are telling a lie over the relief scheme which is part of the Punjab budget 2022 and for which the funds have been allocated. The relief has been given and come into effect from July 1,” she said, rejecting the claim made by the PTI in the petition regarding the programme. She said the people needed to understand that those who could not give relief to the people had filed the petition in the ECP seeking to deprive the poor people of Punjab of the relief. “They are pleading that the Punjab government should be barred from implementing the scheme so that the people cannot get the relief. This is the PTI’s animosity towards the people, which is part of the Machiavellian mindset under which no relief for the public is allowed,” she said. The PTI leaders should be ashamed of themselves for giving an impression that it was an announcement in the backdrop of the by-polls in Punjab, the minister remarked. She urged the PTI leadership to stop political point-scoring over the scheme, which was launched with the money of Punjab’s residents. “Doing politics over the relief of people is a shameful act of the PTI,” she added. The PTI’s petition to the ECP over the scheme reflected Imran Khan’s Machiavellian mindset, she said, adding, “It is in fact against the people of Punjab instead of the Government of Punjab.” She said the petition was the continuity of Imran’s Machiavellian mindset under which the people of Punjab were rendered unemployed and poor. “The injustice was not only done by the PTI with the people of Punjab but also with the entire Pakistan.” Marriyum said the people had not voted for the PTI for such anti-people steps which included patronization of the cartels and mafias, who made billions during the previous regime. “This time we will not let the PTI and its leader Imran Khan deprive the people of such a big relief,” she said while urging them to withdraw the petition which would have drastic impact on the poor people of Punjab. “Gone are the days when Imran Khan had the power through which he took away every relief from the public,” she remarked. The people from across the country had rejected him and his party which reflected the weak response received by the PTI in its recent long march, she added. The minister said Imran Khan ruined the national economy and state institutions, and also wreaked havoc on the lives of the masses, who were misled by building a false narrative on the so-called regime change foreign conspiracy. Marriyum said Imran Khan made billions by doing “business of diamonds” and selling gifts from Tosha Khana as his sole agenda was to turn Bani Gala into a money-gala.