The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) submitted a report to the Supreme Court on Tuesday regarding the upcoming elections in Punjab, which are scheduled to be held on May 14. The report was submitted in a sealed envelope to the Registrar’s Office, which will send it to the chambers of Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial, Justice Ijaz Ul Ahsan and Justice Munib Akhtar. On April 4, the Supreme Court directed the Ministry of Finance to release Rs21 billion to the ECP by April 10 for the polls in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, following the electoral body’s demand. The court hinted at giving a suitable ruling in case of non-compliance with the orders. However, the government failed to meet the deadline set by the apex court as the ECP has not yet been financed. Instead of providing the funds in time, the government on Monday tabled a bill seeking approval of funds for the elections in both Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. As per the decision of the federal cabinet, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar introduced the money bill 2023, saying that the government was laying the bill before the house in the light of the Supreme Court orders. The finance minister said the federal cabinet sought the will of parliament to take a final decision regarding the allocation of funds for the Punjab and KP general election. The SC had declared the ECP’s decision on the Punjab and KP elections null and void, while ordering it to hold snap polls, a persistent demand forced by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan after he dissolved the assemblies in both the provinces. The apex court had given the date of May 14 for the polls in Punjab. However, the verdict further deepened the ongoing political and constitutional crisis as the government rejected the SC ruling. Besides the money bill, the government also stressed holding the elections in the entire country simultaneously. On Monday, the parliament’s joint sitting adopted a resolution stressing the holding of general elections of the national and the provincial assemblies simultaneously to “strengthen the federation”. The officials of the ECP after submitting the sealed report to the SC Registrar’s Office left the premises of the apex court. The officials in their informal media talk said they are unaware of the content of the report submitted to the Supreme Court. According to sources, the finance ministry has prepared a summary for the federal cabinet and Parliament regarding the provision of funds for Punjab elections. The sources said the summary finalised by the finance ministry mentioned difficulties in the availability of large sums of money for elections separately. Earlier, the ECP announced the schedule for elections in Punjab, which are to be held on May 14, 2023. According to the electoral watchdog’s notification, the polling for the Punjab Assembly elections will be held on May 14, 2023. The ECP also withdrew its earlier schedule regarding the holding of general elections in Punjab in October. As per the schedule, appeals can be filed against the decisions of Returning Officers regarding rejection or acceptance of nomination papers on April 10. The situation remains uncertain as the government has yet to provide the funds for the polls, and the Supreme Court has hinted at giving a suitable ruling in case of non-compliance with its orders.