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PU, GCU Teachers Protest Higher Ed Budget Cuts

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Punjab University Academic Staff Association and faculty members of Government College University Lahore on Wednesday organized a rally at Punjab University Old Campus to protest against the 50 percent cut in the budget of higher education.

PU teachers on Wednesday boycotted classes for one hour and wore black bands. The teachers, led by FAPUASA Punjab President Professor Dr Mumtaz Anwar Chaudhry and ASA Secretary Javed Sami, were holding placards and banners to press for their demands. The faculty members raised slogans demanding the government allocate budget to higher education as per needs and restore income tax rebate to teachers to 75 percent.

The teachers took out rally in various departments of Old Campus and held a protest demonstration on The Mall near Istanbul Chowk.

Addressing the participants, Prof Dr Mumtaz Anwar Chaudhry said university teachers rejected model universities act and it must not be implemented. He said no country could progress without spending money on higher education sector, adding that the PTI government had promised during elections that it would give top priority to the education.

However, he said, instead of increasing the budget, the government reduced the budget of higher education by 50 percent, which was highly condemnable. Chaudhry said that HEC chairman had failed to present universities’ case before the government due to which teachers were observing black day.

Prof Dr Mumtaz Anwar said teachers also rejected reduction in tax rebate and demanded the government restore 75 percent tax rebate. He demanded the government increase M Phil/PhD allowance as per the notification of Sindh government, adding that the retirement age of teachers must be increased to 65 years.

ASA Secretary Javed Sami said the government must fulfill the promise it made at the time of elections. He said that the teachers had been compelled to launch protest movement against the government.

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