HEC grant cut by Rs6.5bn in six months
Govt cuts down HEC grant by Rs6.5bn in six months
|Islamabad, Nov 25: All ongoing projects of the Higher Education Commission (HEC),
including up-gradation of existing universities as well as around 3,000 students
studying abroad on scholarships, might be affected owing to severe financial
crisis being faced by the country, as the government cut down its envisaged
allocations by Rs6.5 billion in the last two quarters, it is learnt.
Gilani government is forced to cut down its expenditure side and the easy way
for moving ahead is to slash down development expenditures. The public sector
development programme (PSDP) is likely to cut down by Rs100-150 billion in the
current fiscal year in order to meet the IMF demand for curtailing ballooning
expenditure side for meeting envisaged fiscal deficit target.
The PPP led
government cut down Rs3 billion for the HEC during the last quarter (April-June)
of the fiscal year 2007-08 and this trend continued to persist by cutting down
Rs3.5 billion in the first quarter (July-Sept) period of the ongoing financial
"Total deficit in funds grant went up to Rs 6.5 billion for
the last two consecutive quarters and the situation has reached to the extent
where contractors were planning to approach the higher judiciary for seeking
compensations if their funds were not released immediately," official sources
said here on Monday.
Pakistan had made commitments to jack up
allocation for the education sector up to 4 per cent of the GDP in years ahead
but Islamabad is moving other way round under which allocation for education is
decreasing in the GDP terms.
"The latest PRSP report of the finance
ministry shows that the total spending on education was less than 2 per cent of
the GDP in the last financial year," sources said.There is strong feeling within
the ranks of the government to provide all-out financial resources to the HEC
which were meant for 3,000 students studying abroad on scholarships for doing
their PhDs in their respective fields, said the official sources and added but
there was also one view that the previous government launched HEC projects
without well-thought-out strategy and these projects needed to be rationalised
in order to avoid wastage of money.
But the official sources also pointed
out that if the government cut down allocations for the universities then the
students studying abroad on scholarship could not be utilised in the country on
their return and Pakistan would loose an opportunity to transform its economy on
The government has allocated Rs18 billion for
development projects in the HEC for the current fiscal year 2008-09 and Rs15
billion for current expenditures of the commission in order to meet
non-development expenditures, including salaries of professors and other working
staff in the institutions falling under the HEC.
"The government has not
increased any amount for the HEC in the current fiscal year as it envisaged Rs18
billion allocations in FY2008-09 compared to the same amount of the previous
fiscal year," said the official sources.
When HEC executive-director
Sohail Naqvi was asked about financial difficulties being faced by the
commission, he told this scribe that the HEC has completed all procedural
requirements by submitting cash plans to the finance ministry and they are
waiting for release of the allocated funds in the ongoing quarter (Oct-Dec)
period of the current fiscal year.
"We don't know when the government
will release the allocated amount but it should be done within a few days," he
said and added the higher education should be priority of the government. There
were 397 development schemes under the PSDP head whereas throw forward touched
new heights by touching Rs282.835 billion on June 30, 2007. The News
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Body formed to resolve medical education issues
Islamabad: Ministry of Health, Pakistan Medical & Dental
Council (PM&DC), Higher Education Commission (HEC) and College of Physicians
& Surgeons of Pakistan (CPSP) on Monday formed an Advisory Committee on
Health Professionals Education to align their policies and improve coordination
amongst them. The first meeting of the committee was held under the chairmanship
of Director General (DG) Health Dr Rasheed Jooma at the Ministry of Health. The
meeting considered issue of award of status of professional degree to higher
professional diploma offered by different medical institutions. Another issue
discussed in the meeting was consolidation of activities relating to
accreditation of under graduate and postgraduate programmes with technical &
organisational facilitation from the HEC. Daily Times
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