Budget 2013-14: Higher education gets attention, finally

Published: June 13, 2013

Federal Budget 2013-14 allocates Rs 57.4 billion for development of various areas in higher education. PHOTO: FILE

Federal Budget 2013-14 allocates Rs 57.4 billion for development of various areas in higher education. PHOTO: FILE Locals in Lahore listen to Finance Minister Ishaq Dar presenting the Budget for 2013-2014. PHOTO: ONLINE
ISLAMABAD: 

Education having stayed on the backburner for too long, the Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N)-led government has now decided to give it greater priority in the new budget by allocating a total of Rs57.4 billion for development of higher education.

This allocation includes Rs18.4 billion for the proposed Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) for the fiscal 2013-2014, against Rs15.8 billion allocated last year, plus a hefty amount of Rs39 billion, allocated to increase the enrolment in higher education by 14% from 1.08 million students in 2012-13 to 1.23 million students in 2013-14.

With an addition of 2,000 more scholarships, the number of scholarships will rise from 4,249 to 6,249 during 2013-14.  A major chunk of the proposed allocations, however, goes to infrastructure development, including establishment of new educational institutions, a department for higher education and upgrading and improvement in the existing facilities.

For a new programme – Youth Laptop Scheme for Islamabad Capital Territory, Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Gilgi-Baltistan and Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) – Rs 300 million have been allocated.

A handsome scholarship amount has also been allocated for Master of Philosophy (MPhil) and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) students wishing to study outside Pakistan.

The Planning Commission proposed Rs1.4 billion for the Overseas Scholarship Scheme (OSS) for Master of Science (MS) and MPhil students pursuing PhD degrees in selected fields.

Another Rs550 million has been earmarked for the revised PhD fellowship programme. Rs739 million has also been allocated for indigenous PhD fellowship.

Rs740 million has been allocated for Human Resource Development Initiative-MS leading to PhD Programme of Faculty Development for Engineering Universities.

The PSDP carries Rs370 million for the establishment of women university in Multan and Rs700 million for the construction of new campus of Jalozai Khyber Pukhtunkhwa University of Engineering and Technology, UET, Peshawar.

For the FATA students, Rs250 million has been allocated. Planning Commission has also approved Rs650 million for strengthening the University of Engineering and Technology, Lahore and proposed Rs116 million for 1,000 Cuban Scholarships.

The commission also proposed Rs130 million for Pakistani university students enrolled in agriculture and business administration study programmes.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 13th, 2013.

Reader Comments (10)

  • riz
    Jun 13, 2013 - 10:01AM

    finally higher education has started getting govt. attention

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  • AC
    Jun 13, 2013 - 10:17AM

    Right decision !!!!!
    This shoudl be widely apprieciated and accepted.

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  • Jun 13, 2013 - 10:18AM

    Higher Education is very important but how building a pyramid top down makes sense? All you are doing is providing opportunities to the middle and upper class that lives in cities. The 25 million out school children and 25 million illiterate adults like in rural areas or poor urben areas. These 50 million will continue to place negative strain on all productive aspects of the country like population explosion, disease,, terrorism, drugs etc. The only way to turn this 50 million negative energy into positive is to provide immediate Basic K-5 Child Education, Adult Literacy combined with Skills Training. Pakistan Government has the Public -Private Engine to do this at fraction of the cost and it is called NCHD or National Commission for Human Development. No other organization can do this work. Article 25A of the 1973 Constitution requires this as well

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  • ezanius
    Jun 13, 2013 - 10:20AM

    300 million for laptops?! Is this the higher education! How can a Pakistani enter University when there are no primary and secondary schools! I think this Government needs to invest more in primary and secondary education, though these students cant vote.

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  • A J Khan
    Jun 13, 2013 - 10:38AM

    Amidst the much hype, Nawaz Sharif Government failed to tap the rich class and has resorted to failed mechanism of taxing the taxed.
    If the economy was to be turned around by taxing the salaried class, it would have happened.
    Poor show. He has taken major step towards his failure.

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  • Matiullah
    Jun 13, 2013 - 11:07AM

    This is very commendable decision. To be praised at most. WELL DONE #MNS

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  • Aly khan
    Jun 13, 2013 - 11:58AM

    Funds have never been the issue in the past, it was the distribution and the transparency in the distribution that was clogging the system. I just hope that the alloted sum reaches its designated purpose!

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  • Faisal Fateh
    Jun 13, 2013 - 2:00PM

    In the budget the tax relief given to professors is withdrawn increasing their tax by 75% across the board. Please use your head and maintain their tax relief before they start flocking to foreign countries for better pay. You could have decreased few millions from HEC budget and maintain the tax relief on these guys otherwise whats the use to sending more people for PHD when you can’t hold the ones we already have.

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  • yashwant
    Jun 13, 2013 - 3:48PM

    hi budget is good thing

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  • Jul 9, 2013 - 9:30AM

    Indeed, we really need to appreciate with this initiative because this would encourage us and our up coming youth and new generation to buildup their inner skills that will monitor and enhance their capacity to step forward for change. However, this is great opportunity only for those Pakistanis who are within country, but how about those students who go abroad and get their higher education. Why should not these students be honored great opportunities as they will comeback to Pakistan one day. In fact, those students who are studying abroad from across the country, should be given such opportunities so that they sustain their skills and become bright leaders of our nation.

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