Finance Ministry to release HEC’s withheld funds

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ISLAMABAD – In what appears to be a damage-control move amidst criticism over the devolution of HEC by certain quarters, the Finance Ministry on Saturday assured HEC of releasing Rs 7.7 billion soon, a day after refusing to do so.
A senior official at HEC said the Finance Ministry assured HEC that the ministry had decided to release withheld Rs 7.7 billion of HEC and the commission would receive the fund in the next two days. The funds were earlier withheld by the ministry in view of the possible devolution of HEC to the provinces.
On Friday, senior Finance Ministry officials informed HEC that the funds could not be released until HEC’s fate was decided. An HEC spokesman also confirmed that the ministry had assured the administration of releasing withheld funds. He said the funds would be used for various purposes, including daily expenditure and to pay salaries of 71 public sector universities.
Meanwhile, calling the decision to devolve HEC to provinces a national tragedy, the Wafaqul Madaris Al-Arabia Pakistan demanded of the PPP not devolve HEC. Wafaqul Madaris leaders Moulana Salimullah Khan and Qari Hanif Jahlandri said the decision would also hurt and cast a negative impact on the integrity and solidarity of the country.