ISLAMABAD:June 26: The Vice Chancellors have written a letter to the Prime Minister seeking an appointment to apprise him of the gravity of the situation emerging because of non-release of fourth quarter budget of the outgoing financial year.
The Central Committee of Vice Chancellors representing 74 public sector universities of Pakistan held an emergency meeting here on Monday in which the serious situation of late release of fourth quarter funds of Rs 12 billion, Rs 6 billion for recurring and Rs 6 billion for development, were discussed.
The meeting was presided over by Engr Imtiaz Hussain Gilani, Chairperson Vice Chancellors’ Committee. The VCs wrote a letter to the PM Raja Pervaiz Ashraf hoping that they would be given time to realise the government that the delays aggravating the situation especially for newly established universities in Balochistan and in other parts of the country.
Imtiaz Hussain Gilani while talking to TheNation said due to non-release of budget development projects can be postponed but the employees cannot be asked to work without salaries. Out of Rs 6 billion for the recurring budget the government has released only Rs 25 million and if the remaining amount is not released, the universities would not be able to pay salaries to their employees that can create unrest in the 72 public sector universities, he added.
The meeting resolved that the gravity of the situation, and the simmering discontent now becoming visible by the actions of staff associations as they have started protests in the universities. They demanded that the issue be immediately redressed as inaction is not tenable anymore.
‘With all the turmoil the nation is going through, we can ill afford agitation in universities that are home to more than one million students, getting quality education by a competent faculty of about 100,000’.
The Committee hoped that the newly elected Prime Minister would refocus his government’s education-friendly policies and solve this very serious problem faced by public sector universities.
According to information it was also discussed that if the government not release the amount pledged in the budget, they would have no option but to increase the fee structure that will decrease the access to higher education for the youth that already stands at 8 percent.
Though, the VCs meeting had one point agenda to discuss budget cuts but the other issue of placing the Commission under the Ministry of Professional and Technical Training is also under consideration nowadays.
One of the Vice Chancellors requesting anonymity said, “The universities should be released funds on time and their autonomy should not be compromised whether they are being controlled by the ministry or the Commission directly.”Nation.