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HEC Chairman Dubs Higher Education Budget, ‘Peanuts’

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Higher Education Commission (HEC) Chairman Dr Tariq Banuri has dubbed higher education budget ‘peanuts’, as a meagre amount of Rs59 billion was allocated against a whopping demand of Rs103.5 billion by the government for the fiscal year 2019-20.

Talking at the press conference he said HEC received half of the amount it demanded for the fiscal year 2019-20. “The HEC had demanded Rs103.5 billion for the fiscal year 2019-20 but government approved on Rs59 billion, including around Rs28 billion for the development sector against the demand of Rs55 billion, it’s too little than what we asked for.” Banuri said HEC presented their budget allocation demand on every forum including the cabinet and Ministry of Finance, however, the government asked to cooperate as cuts were made in almost every department.

He said HEC was dedicated to mainstreaming quality education and relevance into the higher education sector and National Academy of Higher Education (NAHE) will act as a viable instrument to ensure greater transparency and efficiency in the education system. In order to carry forward the efforts to enable Pakistan’s higher education sector by making it more effective in academic excellence, management and problem-oriented research, HEC launched conference of the National Academy of Higher Education (NAHE), earlier this week.

Just to add, out of the total budget allocated by the government to the higher education sector, Rs4159.782 million would be spent on new development schemes, while Rs24887.100 million would be used to for the completion of old schemes under National Development Programme 2019-20. Moreover, the government also curtailed the funds allocated to Education Affairs and Services by at least Rs20 million. In the fiscal year, 2019-20 government allocated Rs77,262 million to Education Affairs and Services, in comparison to Rs97,155 allocated in the year 2018-19. Out of the total funds Rs2,831 million were allocated Pre-Primary & Primary Education Affairs services, Rs77,262 million to Education Affairs, Rs6,718 million on Secondary Education Affairs & Services, Rs65,233 million on Tertiary Education Affairs and Services, Rs300 million to Subsidiary Services to Education etc.

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