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HEC receives over Rs15bn

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HEC receives over Rs15bn
« on: June 06, 2010, 11:49:57 AM »
HEC receives over Rs15bn
ISLAMABAD,: The Higher Education Commission (HEC) received a major setback on Saturday when the government could allocate only Rs15.762 billion against its demand of Rs30 billion for the development of public sector universities.

The government, under Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) 2010-2011, has committed Rs15.762 billion for the HEC against Rs22.5 billion it had earmarked last year.

Sources in the HEC said with this money the commission would not be in position to start even a single new development project in the coming year.

In the outgoing financial year, originally the government had committed Rs22.5 billion to the HEC under PSDP 2009-2010 which was revised to Rs18.5 billion, but as of today it has received only Rs11.5 billion, they said. With this major cut and regular delays in releases throughout the year the HEC remained under financial stress.

The HEC had shown 230 ongoing projects and 128 new projects for allocation under the PSDP 2009-2010, whereas the number has been reduced to 193 ongoing and only 11 new projects for PSDP 2010-2011.

The HEC needed more than Rs10 billion to support its ongoing Human Resource Development (HRD) project under which it has to provide scholarships to around 9,000 students. Around 4,000 students are in foreign universities on various types of scholarships--PhD, MS, MSc, Post Doc, short courses--while the rest are availing financial assistance to study in local universities.

In this way the HEC will be left with only Rs5.76 billion out of the allocated Rs15.762 under PSDP 2010-2011, putting it in a tight corner to take any worthwhile development activity in the coming year, said a top HEC official when asked to comment on the new budgetary allocations.

Moreover, the HEC has to face an additional impact of Rs2 billion after rupees’s depreciation during preceding years. A number of HEC’s financial commitments were made when one dollar was worth around Rs60, which over the last couple of years has shot up to over Rs85, thus, the commission will have to do lots of adjustments in its ongoing development projects, the official said.

“Our major focus will be to complete ongoing development projects which are in final stages, because with every passing day, cost of civil works is rising. There are several projects which have already crossed their time limit,” the official said.The HEC had submitted development projects worth over Rs30 billion to the Planning Commission for allocations in the PSDP 2010-2011.Dawan