Funds released: Sigh of relief for HEC

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ISLAMABAD: The federal government on Tuesday released Rs3 billion allocated for the recurring budget of the Higher Education Commission (HEC), while the federal finance minister also directed the immediate release of Rs3 billion from the development budget to universities. The supplementary grant is meant to help the HEC cover the Rs6 billion deficit in the recurring budget caused by an across-the-board salary increase of 20 per cent announced in the last federal budget.

Finance Minister Saleem Mandviwalla said the funds needed to overcome the current financial problems being faced by various universities will immediately be released to HEC.

The government had pledged Rs15.8 billion to the HEC in the 2012-13 budget for development grants, which are used to provide for scholarships, infrastructure development and other development projects at public sector universities, as well as the salaries of project staff.

The finance ministry assured the HEC and varsity vice chancellors at a February 21 meeting of the Senate Standing Committee on Education and Trainings that the development funds will be released by March 1.

The minister said the government is committed to promoting higher education. “The HEC has, and will continue to enjoy, full patronage and support from the government for continued provision of quality higher education to the nation,” he said.


Courtesy: Tribune

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