Govt decides to slash HEC budget by half

The PML-N led federal government has proposed slashing half of the budget of the High Education Commission (HEC).

The newly established federal government has proposed cutting the budget of HEC by more than half to Rs30 billion for the fiscal year 2022–23, compared to the previous allocation of Rs65 billion.

The HEC has been asked to compile a budget statement in conformity with the specified budget for 2022-23 and submit it to the Finance Division’s director budget wing for entry.

The HEC officials say that the PTI government had already minimised the HEC budget due to which varsities across the country were facing a severe financial crunch. Therefore, a further cut in the budget will monetarily paralyse higher education in the country as the majority of varsities have no capacity to generate funding for annual expenditures.

Following the decision, the problems of the government-run universities have intensified and the research work has been completed stopped. The process of firing teachers recruited on a temporary basis has also begun, the sources said.

Sources said with the cut in the HEC budget, the universities have been compelled to increase fees by 3 to 4 per cent.

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