WB agrees to release $300 million for HEC | Pakistan Today

WB agrees to release $300 million for HEC

In a major development, the World Bank (WB) has agreed to release US$300 to the Higher Education Commission for its various programmes, aiming to promote higher studies, it has been learnt.
Earlier, the WB refused to give the HEC because of its uncertain fate as the government had planned to devolve it to the provinces under the 18th Amendment. A reliable source in HEC told Pakistan Today that an agreement had been inked between Economic Affairs Division Secretary Dr Waqar Masood Khan and an official of WB in Washington DC on September 22.
The source said on the same day, the World Bank Country Director for Pakistan Rachid Benmessaoud wrote a letter to HEC Chairman Dr Javaid Leghari, in which he informed him about the development. “I’m pleased to notify you that the financing agreement and project agreement for the Tertiary Education Support Project amounting US$ 300 million were signed. Accordingly, the terminal date for effectiveness is December 21, 2011,” said Rachid.
Earlier, the World Bank in April 2011 while citing a clause in agreement, in which it was agreed that any change in the legal status of the HEC would end the agreement, had denied to release the said amount. Talking to Pakistan Today, HEC Executive Director Dr Sohil Naqvi confirmed that the WB had agreed to release $ 300 million for the Tertiary Education Support Programme.
“Yes, the Government of Pakistan has finally signed the US$ 300 million Tertiary Education Support Programme for the implementation of Higher Education Medium Term Development Framework II. This project was approved by the Board of the WB in March 2011,” said Naqvi. Another senior official of HEC, wishing not to be named, said the assistance would certainly play a vital role in the higher education sector.