The Higher Education Commission (HEC) has submitted a summary to the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the cabinet while seeking a supplementary grant of Rs 5 billion for the current fiscal year to meet public sector universities expenses.
HEC had demanded Rs 103.5 billion for the fiscal year 2019-20 to meet current expenditures, but the government approved Rs 59 billion, and Rs 28 billion for the development sector against the demand of Rs 55 billion.
HEC Seeks Rs 5 billion Supplementary Grant for Current Fiscal Year
The government’ allocation of Rs 59 billion for the current financial year to meet current expenditure was 9 per cent less than last year’s budgetary allocation of Rs 65 billion and it was around 40 per cent less than demand of Rs 103 billion for the current fiscal year.
Sources said that HEC has demanded a supplementary grant of Rs 5 billion for the current fiscal year to meet its public sector universities expenses.
Official sources revealed that HEC was in contact with the government to realize the latter importance of funding for the sector. The HEC presented its case for allocation of budget on every forum including the Prime Minister Secretariat, Ministry of Finance and cabinet, and the government promised positively in this regard.
During a press conference Chairman HEC Dr Tariq Banuri appealed to the Prime Minister for restoring higher education sector’s budget as it is affecting ongoing as well as future programmes. “Prime Minister Imran Khan should do something practical to fulfill his promises. HEC was in contact with the government to seek a reversal of the shortsighted policy”, said the chairman, adding that Pakistan is providing the lowest level of funding to the higher education sector.
To avert crisis in public sector universities, HEC again requested Ministry of Finance for supplementary grant of Rs 21 billion, however, finance ministry did not agree with HEC’s demand to allocate the required funds.
Following the direction of Prime Minister, Imran Khan, federal education minister, Shafqat Mehmud moved a summary to Prime Minister Office for technical supplementary grant of Rs 10 billion; however, finance ministry has advised to move a summary of Rs 5 billion grant to HEC.
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