Senate body recommends releasing Rs21bn to cash-starved HEC | Pakistan Today

Senate body recommends releasing Rs21bn to cash-starved HEC

ISLAMABAD: The Senate’s Standing Committee on Science and Technology has recommended the federal government to release Rs21 billion to the Higher Education Commission (HEC) in order to avoid closure of universities.

Briefing the members of the Senate committee, HEC officials said the Commission was facing a shortage of funds for running universities across the country. They apprised the committee that the commission had been allocated 45 per cent lesser funds by the authorities.

The officials said that the federal government had been contacted for release of Rs21 billion but it had not responded to the request. They added the situation is worsening as the universities are unable to pay salaries to their employees. Moreover, HEC needs additional funding of Rs10bn for research purposes.

Senator Gianchand lashed out at the government, saying it was launching ‘langar khanas’ after cutting funds of the HEC.

Committee Chairman Mushtaq Ahmed urged the federal government to pay attention to the deteriorating financial situation of the educational institutions that could ultimately lead to the closure of many universities across the country.

He said that Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah had dedicated his property to the Peshawar University, which is now facing Rs600m deficit due to shortage of funds. It seems that education and research are not a priority for the government, he added.

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