Planning Minister Asad Umar assures more funds to HEC

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: The Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Reform Asad Umar has assured that the government would provide more funds to the Higher Education Commission (HEC) during the current years than the expenditure the Commission has incurred during the recent years.

Asad Umar was co-chairing a meeting along with the Federal Minister for Education and Professional Training Shafqat Mehmood in Islamabad to review the status of funding of higher education projects.

The Deputy Chairman Planning Commission Muhammad Jahanzeb Khan, the Chairman HEC Tariq Banuri and other senior officials also participated in the meeting.

The meeting was informed that the process of release of development funds has been revamped and the Principal Accounting Officers (PAO) have been given greater powers.

It was further informed that an amount of Rs 11.4 billion has so far been authorized by the Planning Division for release to HEC, out of the total allocation of Rs 29 billion for the current year.

The Minister for Planning directed the relevant officials to make sure that the funds allocated to HEC are released in a timely manner so that the educational institutions can utilize them for their projects.

Asad Umar also asked the Chairman HEC to make sure that the released funds are spent prudently and effectively. He asked the Chairman HEC to gear up the efforts to increase the fund utilization capabilities to achieve higher expenditure levels.

The meeting also discussed proposals of the Ministry of Education relating to improving student enrolment and improving the quality of education.

It was decided that the Ministry of Education would formulate formal project proposals to implement these projects. The Planning Commission would facilitate the design and approval process of the proposals.

Both the Ministers also decided to carry out a review of the Knowledge Economy projects along with the Ministries of Science & Technology and Information Technology & Telecom.