The federal government has significantly reduced the current budget of the Higher Education Commission (HEC) for the fiscal year 2024-25, cutting it from Rs. 65 billion to Rs. 25 billion. This reduced budget is limited to federal universities only.

Under the new policy, the Federal Higher Education Commission will no longer fund public sector universities in the provinces. Provinces will now be responsible for financing their own universities.

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

According to a letter from the Finance Ministry, provinces are now required to secure funding for their universities independently.

HEC Chairman Dr. Mukhtar confirmed receiving letters from the Ministry of Finance about the reductions in both the recurrent grant and the development budget. He expressed concerns about the severe impact this would have on universities.

Dr. Mukhtar mentioned that he is writing to the finance minister and the prime minister regarding this issue. He pointed out that in 2018, the HEC budget was Rs. 65 billion, but it has now been reduced to Rs. 25 billion.

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