Govt reduced HEC budget from Rs. 65 billion to Rs. 25 billion

The federal government has significantly reduced the budget for the Higher Education Commission (HEC) for the fiscal year 2024-25. Initially set at Rs65 billion, the budget has now been slashed to Rs25 billion, earmarked solely for federal universities. This means that provincial public sector universities must secure their own funding.

The HEC had originally requested Rs126 billion to support over 160 public universities nationwide. Besides reducing the recurrent budget, the Planning Commission also cut the HEC’s development budget from Rs59 billion to Rs21 billion.

A letter from the Finance Ministry has instructed the provinces to arrange their own funding for universities. Dr. Mukhtar, Chairman of the HEC, has confirmed receipt of these letters and voiced concerns about the detrimental effects this budget cut will have on universities. He stated his intention to discuss this issue with the finance minister and the prime minister. Dr. Mukhtar noted that the HEC’s budget was Rs65 billion in 2018 and has now been reduced to Rs25 billion. This significant decrease in funding is expected to have serious implications for higher education in Pakistan, especially for universities that heavily rely on government support to operate and maintain their academic programs.

The budget reduction could impact various aspects of university operations, including research, infrastructure development, and the quality of education provided to students. The HEC and university leaders are concerned that this funding decrease will hinder the progress and development of higher education in the country, urging the government to reconsider these budget cuts.

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