HEC universities cash-starved : Education budget 2008-09
All public-sector varsities turn 'cash-starved': Finance ministry delays HEC grant
Lahore, June 05, 2008: The 59 public-sector universities in the country are
facing 'financial crunch' following the federal finance ministry's refusal to
release the Higher Education Commission's fourth quarterly installment of
development and recurring grant of over Rs8 billion for 2007-08.
provides grants and funds to all these institutions for various projects and
payment of salaries to their employees. The universities, it is learnt, have
been rendered virtually cash-strapped.
According to a source in the HEC,
work on more than 300 HEC-funded projects of various public universities has
come to a halt following the move. He said on Wednesday that the fourth
quarterly installment was due in April, but not a single rupee had been released
on account of the grant so far.
The public-sector varsities, he said, had
no funds now even to pay salaries to their staff that would aggravate the
He further said the matter had been brought to the knowledge
of all provincial governors -- the chancellors of public varsities of their
respective provinces. "Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani also has been requested
to intervene and get the grant released at the earliest," he added.
finance ministry in a letter to the HEC says: "It expects the HEC to understand
that the finance division is obliged to exercise and observe due diligence
before allowing any fresh release of fund. The HEC would appreciate that
exercise of due diligence, being the fundamental principle of sound financial
management, can't be dispersed with under any circumstances.
context, one of the requirements, which is to be observed before allowing any
fresh release of funds, is to obtain a clear picture of actual utilisation of
funds released earlier," the letter read, adding: "The HEC would, therefore, be
well advised to facilitate this division in this regard by providing the
following information as early as possible; opening balances in the bank
accounts of all the universities/establishments under the HEC as on April 1,
"The statement of actual expenditure incurred up to third quarter
of current financial year by each of the universities/other establishments of
the HEC duly certified by their finance officers. It is pointed out that mere
disbursement of funds by the HEC to the varsities does not reflect true picture
of expenditure incurred by these establishments," according to the
It also demanded: "Details of the revenue generated by
universities and other establishments other than grants received by them from
the HEC. Funds required for meeting the essential expenditure such as salaries
and other establishment charges of universities/other establishments of the HEC
for the fourth quarter. Any other relevant information which would facilitate
the finance division to assess the HEC expenditure requirement of essential
nature for the fourth quarter of current financial year."
ministry further said it hoped that the HEC would accept it in a 'positive way'
and furnish the finance division with the requisite information at the earliest
to enable it to finalise the issue of release of funds to the HEC for the fourth
quarter of this year. Dawn
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Colleges to get 10 percent more funds in 2008-09
Lahore, June 05, 2008: This year's development budget for colleges across
Punjab might be increased by 10 percent, learnt on
An official in the Education Department said that
the department's development budget in previous fiscal year was Rs 9.9 billion,
which would be increased by 10 percent this year. He said that the former
government had focused mainly on the development of schools, as a number of
programmes were introduced at the school level, while the Higher Education
Commission (HEC) had focused just on universities. He said that educationists
believed that the status of college education was poor in Punjab and reforms
were needed in the college sector. Addition Directorate of Public Instruction
(ADPI) for Colleges Jaleel Tariq, appointed recently, also said colleges were
sufferings due to lack of facilities.
New schemes: The official said that
a number of new schemes would be introduced for colleges in this year's budget.
"Teachers' training, construction and upgrading of laboratories and other
development schemes have been included in the development programme," he said.
The official said that new disciplines could not be introduced in the fields of
medical and engineering due to lack of facilities at colleges. "The budget is
being increased to provide required facilities to college laboratories," he
Teacher-friendly budget: Muttahida Asataza Mahaz President Prof
Shafiq Ahmed said that college teachers were demanding and expecting
a teacher-friendly budget. He alleged that college teachers had not been given
due facilities in the past. He said that students had also been suffering due to
lack of appropriate buildings and furniture at colleges. He said that a number
of colleges in Punjab still lacked the facility of clean drinking
An official of the Education Department said that the government
had separated the college sector from the school sector, and colleges would
hopefully be focused on. "Other departments are quite satisfied with their
budget proposals, but officials in the college sector are yet to frame an agenda
to upgrade colleges," he added. He said that the former government had upgraded
the scales of school and university teachers, but college teachers were still
fighting for their scales. Daily Times
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