Education budget decline | HEC devolution
Education, health get paltry share in next budget
Islamabad, May 27: The upcoming Economic Survey 2010-11, to be unveiled by Minister for Finance Dr Abdul Hafeez
Shaikh on June 2, will show a steep decline in spending on education and health
in the aftermath of the inflated GDP size touching Rs18,000 billion or $210
billion for the outgoing financial year.
on education is expected to decline to 1.3 percent of GDP in 2010-11 from an
earlier 2 percent of GDP in 2009-10 while spending on health will go down below
one percent of GDP after the inflated size of GDP," sources have confirmed.
"The highest ever inflationary pressure of 46 months, the longest period
in the country's history, has resulted in a substantial surge in the GDP size in
the outgoing fiscal year which will translate into some good and some bad news
in terms of indicators for the fiscal year 2010-11."
The gravity of the
situation can be gauged from the fact that the working paper prepared by the
Planning Commission (PC) for National Economic Council, set to meet with the
prime minister in the chair tomorrow (Saturday), contained some serious errors.
An insider said that the Planning Commission never comprehended that
the country's current account would show surplus results, so they applied the
definition of current account deficit in the released working paper.
reality, the current account is nothing but savings-investment gap. If the
current account is in surplus then by definition savings exceed investment. But
the PC document is showing the contradictory picture," a PC source said. "No one in the Planning Commission is accepting responsibility for this
However, the source said the inflated figures of GDP size would
provide some good news to the economic managers since per capita income would
touch $1,246 for the outgoing fiscal year and result in an improved position on
the fiscal deficit side, a crucial number for the economy under the IMF
The one percent of fiscal deficit in terms of GDP has been
estimated at Rs180 billion from the earlier projection of Rs171 billion for the
outgoing fiscal year, resulting in the desired result of restricting budget
deficit in the range of 5.5 percent of the GDP for 2010-11. The current account
in terms of the GDP will also show improvements.
The public debt to GDP
ratio will also be improved in the upcoming Economic Survey 2010-11 because of
the inflated GDP size. The debt to GDP ratio will show even better results if
the government does not include IMF money in the public debt definition, though
this will be a violation of the Fiscal Responsibility and Debt Limitation Act
2005 approved by Parliament.
On the negative side, the FBR's tax to GDP
ratio will decline to 8.8 percent of GDP in case the Board collects Rs1,580
billion till June 30, 2011 from the earlier number of 9.1 percent of the GDP for
the last financial year 2009-10. The investment to GDP ratio and export to GDP
ratio will also decline in the coming Economic Survey 2010-11. The news
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Teachers, clerks call off protest
Islamabad: After assurances by
finance managers that their woes will be addressed in the upcoming budget
2011-12, teachers and clerks demanding higher pays on Wednesday called off their
plans to go on strike.
The representatives of All Pakistan Clerks Association (APCA) and the Punjab
Teachers Union (PTU) met with Finance Secretary Dr Waqar Masood, who assured
them that finding solutions to financial difficulties of the government
employees would be a priority in the coming budget.
Earlier, teachers and clerks gathered outside the D Chowk in front of the
Parliament House on Wednesday and staged a sit-in. They demanded increase in
salaries in accordance with the recommendations of the Pay and Pension
Addressing the participants of the rally, the representatives of teachers and
clerks said the salaries should be increased in accordance with inflation rate.
They also demanded regularisation of employees working in the public sector
organisations on contracts.
Nazar Hussain Korai, central president APCA, said the association was an
apolitical entity fighting for the rights of grade 1-16 employees.
He said the salaries of employees were increased once in a year but inflation
"hits the poor after every 15 days". He regretted that the rulers were least
bothered about the problems of the government employees as they don't have to
face the increase in prices of electricity, petrol, diesel, pulses, sugar,
flour, edible oil and daily commodities.
President PTU Syed Sajjad Akbar Kazmi said the quality of life for the white
collar employees was declining.
He said the electricity prices have been increased by 23 per cent, diesel by
70 per cent, and the prices of sugar and other edible items, including pulses,
oil and onion, have gone up by 100 per cent. Other speakers demanded that all
government employees on contract be given relief in salaries, asking to revise
their pay scales.
Demanding Rs3,000 increase in medical allowance, they said the house rent
should be increased by 70 per cent and transportation allowance by 100 per
They demanded implementation of the recommendations of the Pay and Pension
commission, terming it a long-term solution to the problems faced by low and
mid-level employees. Dawn
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Khosa speaks against devolution of HEC
Islamabad: Terming the federal role of Higher Education Commission (HEC) inevitable for the
sustainable growth of research and development in the country, Punjab Governor
Sardar Latif Khosa has raised his voice against its devolution.
should not be devolved at any cost. Its present form should exist for the larger
interest of the country as it has performed extraordinarily well in its present
form," he said while addressing the National Conference on 'Setting Standards
for 21st Century Pakistan' organised by the Higher Education Commission (HEC)
here on Thursday.
The governor stated that he strongly feels that the
agriculture-based universities of Pakistan could provide a strong base to boost
a culture of use of innovative research for growth of agriculture in the
country. "Similarly, in other sectors of national economy such as energy,
textile and services, universities are the only potential source of building a
strong economy and nation as a whole," he added.
Khosa appreciated the
idea of showcasing achievements of the higher education institutions and their
contribution in building socio-economic infrastructure of the country. Today's
event would lead to a national consensus on how to salvage the economic
situation and image of Pakistan through a strong network of higher education
set-up which in turn is able to develop a culture for its surrounding
communities and is able to serve the local as well as national community at
large," he said.
Dr. Samar Mubarakmand, on the occasion, said that
Pakistan needs a contribution from engineers and scientists to develop and
refine the processes for conversion of coal gas to diesel and separation of
copper, gold, silver and cobalt from ores through efficient means. "The role of
universities in producing competent scientists and researchers is indeed
commendable. The expansion of the higher education is seen as a necessary
condition for integration of national economies into an increasingly
sophisticated and interconnected world economy," he added.
Laghari said that academics have an important role to play in the development of
the country. He said that universities have three major challenges in the 21st
Century, which include building economy, building communities and building
He emphasised that there is an urgent need of technology
transfer by the universities.
"It is an unfortunate fact that there was
not enough money to support higher education in the country. In the developed
world at least four per cent of the GDP is allocated for education of which
around 30 per cent goes to the higher education. If we have to move forward and
stand tall in the comity of nations, there must be a higher percentage of
allocation to education, especially higher education," he said.
HEC chairman Dr Atta-ur-Rahman said that only those countries of the world were
progressing who have exploited their human resource and invested in education.
He said that experiences of developed world show that economic growth is
directly proportional to the university research, adding that development of
South Korea is an excellent example for countries like Pakistan.
Minister for Higher Education Qazi Muhammad Asad Khan said that the output from
universities needs to be incorporated into public policy. He also underlined the
need of change in attitude of industry towards universities, adding that there
is a dire need for the universities to understand their role seriously and
develop such programmes and initiatives that directly support the government for
increasing products and patents from Pakistan.
HEC Executive Director Dr
Sohail Naqvi said that the basic objective of the conference and exhibition was
to provide a forum for interaction of key stakeholders. "We wanted to provide a
platform to universities to showcase their research and let the industry,
business leaders and other stakeholders know about the potential and capacity of
our universities for overall economic growth of the country," he
The conference participants agreed that a knowledge-based society
and its economic growth are completely dependent on the generation of
intellectual capital, which itself dependent on higher education. It is expected
that discussion among different stakeholders will provide an impetus leading to
a national pledge to be taken to promote university-community and
university-industry linkage and technology transfer for building a strong
An exhibition was organised on the occasion which showcased
projects initiated in various universities of the country that have already
demonstrated significant commercial potential addressing the needs of the
Centre of Excellence in Art and Design MUET Jamshoro has
displayed variety of textile designing and handicraft that has been produced for
commercial purposes. The most significant part of the stall was the natural dyes
that has been used for block printing According to the experts, the natural dyes
are better from artificial dyes in many ways as they are better in quality and
durability besides that they have no side effects.
The research product
'OMR' of COMSATS was one of the most significant research products among all
displays. It's a balloting machine, which has made the voting process easier and
transparent than ever before.
The other research displays of COMSATS
included the LED lights which help to cut down power consumption up to 70 per
cent and have an average life of 12 years as compared with 2 years life of
normal HPS lamps besides that they are environment friendly. On the other hand
The University of Faisalabad has displayed their various research outcomes that
mainly include the cattle feed, balanced bio fertilizer and mass rearing of
Quad-e-Azam University Biological Sciences Dean Dr Abdul
Hameed on the occasion briefed media about their environment friendly project
that mainly include bio diesel for non-edible oil seed plants, making
environment friendly leather commercial use of indigenously produced enzymes in
poultry feed and commercial viability of indigenously produced L-Lysine from
coryne bacterium in poultry feed.
The other research projects displayed
by the various universities on the occasion included remote guarding (Suicide
Bomber Detector) by Dawood College of Engineering and Technology; A rugged
wireless micro-sensor technology development for aircraft health management by
Institute of Space Technology; lungs tumour detection from CT-Scan lungs images
and sign language tutor by International Islamic University; academic
institution alert management system by Kohat University of Science and
Technology; design and fabrication of indigenous Thar Coal Gasifier and
indigenous design and fabrication of MSW Incinerator by Mehran University of
Engineering and Technology; A knowledge-based expert system to diagnose spinning
faults for producing high quality yarn by National Textile University;
development of light weight 3 wheeler 4 stroke slim car, prosthetic uppen limb
and solar hybrid water heating system by National University of Science and
Technology; building capacity in Pakistan to seismically retrofit essential
structures by NED University of Engineering and Technology; animal feed bags,
rose perfume, textile dying and vaccines and herbal products by University of
Agriculture; absorption of alcohols/water and carboxylic acids/ water mixtures
by synthetic-zeolites by University of Balochistan; design and development of
low cost synthesis gas generation, development of a virtual machine monitor for
MIPS64 processors and invoice processing automation software by University of
Engineering and Technology, Lahore.
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IIU to sign MoU with Middlesex University
Islamabad: The International Islamic University (IIU) and Middlesex University of London have
agreed to develop direct contacts in the field of postgraduate research and
undergraduate studies to facilitate students of both universities.
was stated by IIU Director-General (Administration, Finance & Planning)
Gulzar Ahmad Khawaja after a meeting with a delegation of the Middlesex
University, London, here on Thursday. The members of the delegation were Dr.
Waqar Ahmad, deputy vice chancellor for research and enterprise executive at the
Middlesex University, London; and Professor Dr. Raj Gill, regional director for
Middle East, Africa and Pakistan. Gulzar Ahmad Khawaja said that a proposal
should be prepared to facilitate the exchange of students, especially in the
field of research. The proposal was agreed by the delegates of Middlesex
University and an MoU will be signed in this regard soon. The news
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