74 universities in financial crunch awaiting Rs 12b

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Seventy-four universities of the country are facing an acute financial crisis as they did not get Rs 12 billion of the Rs 44 billion allocated during the financial year 2011-12.
Sources privy to the information said it had badly affected the education and research activities in the universities.
Meanwhile, All Pakistan Universities Academic Staff Association President Kaleemullah announced observing black day in all the universities today (Monday). He has also convened an emergency meeting in Islamabad on June 27 to devise a future strategy.
According to details, the not releasing of funds has put the future of half a million students, 95,000 employees and thousands of students who are studying abroad on scholarships at stake. Foreign professors at the universities have not been paid for the last two months. The sources quoting the Higher Education Commission officials said the Finance Ministry had held back 37 percent of the funds allocated for the universities which accounted for Rs 12 billion.
The HEC said the funds were not being released since April and scholarships of 10,000 students within the country and abroad had been stopped. In addition, 600 students whose scholarships had been approved for Germany, South Korea, Italy and China for higher education could not proceed due to the unavailability of funds. Similarly, problems had also arisen in the payment of salary and pension to 95,000 employees and thousands of pensioners. Most of the universities have no funds to pay for utility bills and meet day-to-day expenses.

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