Govt Cuts HEC’s Budget By More Than Half

The federal government has slashed the current budget of the Higher Education Commission (HEC) for the fiscal year 2024-25, reducing it from Rs. 65 billion to Rs. 25 billion. Moreover, this reduced budget allocation has been restricted solely to federal universities.

Under the new arrangement, the Federal Higher Education Commission will no longer provide funding to public sector universities in the provinces. Instead, provinces will be responsible for financing their universities.

The Higher Education Commission had initially requested Rs. 126 billion to support over 160 public universities nationwide. However, the Planning Commission has reduced the development budget allocated to the HEC from Rs. 59 billion to Rs. 21 billion.

According to a letter from the Finance Ministry, provinces have been directed to secure funding for their respective universities on their own.

HEC Chairman Dr. Mukhtar has confirmed receiving letters from the Ministry of Finance concerning the reduction in both the recurrent grant and the development budget from the Planning Commission. He expressed concerns over the potentially severe impact this would have on universities.

He added that he is writing letters to the finance minister and the prime minister regarding this issue. He highlighted that in 2018, the HEC budget stood at Rs. 65 billion, but it has now been slashed to Rs. 25 billion.

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