HEC budget increased by 8pc: Hafeez Shaikh

Reiterating government’s commitment for the promotion of higher education in the country, Minister for Finance, Revenue and Planning and Development Dr. Abdul Hafeez Shaikh on Wednesday informed Senate that despite freezing the budget of all other departments, the budget for Higher Education Commission (HEC) was increased by eight percent.

Replying to various supplementary questions, he said that the requirements of all those students who had been sent abroad by HEC would be fulfilled at any cost so they could easily compete their education.

The minister also assured the house that all HEC projects at advanced stage would be completed according to schedule.

He said the government has already accepted genuine demands of the university teachers and committee has also been constituted to sort out the issue of 50 percent raise in the salaries of university employees.

In response to a supplementary question, the minister said it was not true that the government would be unable to pay salary to employees after two months. I was misquoted regarding the non-payment of salaries to the employees, he added.

He said that the government was taking pragmatic steps for the development of economic sector and all resources would be mobilized for the purpose.

Hafeez Shaikh said inflation remained 11.7 percent during the last years.

The minister confessed that foreign loans were also a reason for increasing inflation rate. However, these loans were borrowed by past government, he added.

He said the government has already imposed capital gain tax on strong and influential groups, adding that reformed general sales tax was being implemented.

He said dream of self-reliance could not be materialized without mobilization of resources.