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Qaim Ali Shah asks Higher Education Commission to continue financial grant to universities of Sindh province till 2015

Karachi, May 22, 2014 (PPI-OT): The Chief Minister Sindh Syed Qaim Ali Shah has asked the authorities of the Higher Education Commission (HEC) to continue the proper financial grant to the universities of Sindh province till 2015 as per commitment made in National Finance Commission NFC Award in 2010 failing which, the matter would be taken to the council of common interest (CCI). This he observed while presiding over meeting of Vice Chancellors of all Universities of Public Sector held at CM House Karachi today.

Expressing his concern over the reports presented by the Vice Chancellors in the meeting about not release of grants from the HEC except a very little meager amount to same universities in some cases after the 18th amendment in the constitution under which the subject of Higher Education was transferred to provincial Govt ,the Chief Minister Sindh said that during the deliberation for NFC Award it was decided that financial Assistance to the Universities would be made from HEC till 2015 as that time 18th Amendment was not passed.

He said that all the provinces were on the same page so far this matter is concerned. The Chief Minister directed the Secretary on Universities and Board Syed Mumtaz Ali Shah to prepare the summary for proper continuation of financial grants to universities from HEC till 2015 as per commitment made in NFC Award and submit the same to the CCI secretarial before its meeting which is likely be held during this month.

The Chief Minister Sindh said that despite the responsibility of HEC, The Sindh Govt has made budgetary provision of financial assistance to all universities of public sector in its coming budget of 2014-15 and hopefully their funding would be started from July 2014.

The Chief Minister Sindh said that PPP Govt was deeply interested in qualitative education and intends to modernize the universities and standardize the education by enhancing the capacity building of the universities in public sector.

He constituted a three members committee comprising on senior most Vice Chancellors to ascertain the problems, bottlenecks, causes / hindrance in the way of qualitative education and preparing recommendations for raising the standard of High Education in Sindh, upto international level.

Placing an example of the IBA Sukkur for delivering remarkable qualitative education, The Chief Minister Sindh Syed Qaim Ali Shah asked the Vice Chancellors that they also can achieve the same status with their determination and commitment. He said that finance is no mater so for education is concern.

He said that PPP Govt is giving priority to education and had being increasing budget of this sector in hundreds time. In addition to that World Bank, Asian Development Bank and other international Financial Institution are willing to finance the Sindh Govt for improving the higher education.

The Secretary for Universities / Board Syed Mumtaz Ali Shah briefed the meeting about present position of each universities. He said that Sindh has 18 Universities including 3 new and two Business Institutes. He said that expenditure of all Universities has been estimated as was Rs 20,000 million in which from their own resources of Rs 6010 million (15 uni) and Rs 6311 million of HEC grant.

Thus created short fall is more than Rs 5000 million. He said that old universities need to be upgraded while newly established universities needs new infrastructure. Besides, they need adequate funds to meet their short fall.

The Vice Chancellor while talking in the meeting said that after the devolution of Universities to the provincial govt, the HEC has left its interest and not making financial grants to them except some meager amount in some cases, thus according to them has accumulated huge liabilities against them.

They said that if they are borrowing from banks, have to pay 18% interest. To avoid such situation and meet the short fall, they are compelled to introduced the self financed education schemes and getting 9% interest from the Banks. They said that they are not in a position to rehabilitee the old building, carryon own transport system or to make effective research or facilitate their faculty members to get PHD degree.

However they also expressed their satisfaction over transferring the universities to provincial govt and expressed their confidence that now the Higher education to be improved and universities to be developed. The Advisor to CM for Finance Syed Murad Ali Shah, Additional Chief Secretary Planning and Development Muhammad Wasim and other officers from Sindh Govt also attended the meeting.

For more information, contact:
Mr. Allah Bachayo Memon
Press Secretary
Chief Minister House
Tel: +9221 99202019
Cell: +92300-3524057 (Ext: 336)

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