Proposed budget share: 2% for higher education, 20% for military

Published: April 15, 2012
Allocation for HEC 5% higher than current year, 20% lower than requested for next year.

Allocation for HEC 5% higher than current year, 20% lower than requested for next year.


For wishful thinkers, there will be no surprises in the upcoming budget.

In line with its previous allocations, the government plans on allocating less than 2% of its budget to higher education and almost 20% to the military.

Authorities are considering allocating Rs47.8 billion to higher education in the upcoming budget, which amounts to 1.8% of the proposed total budget of Rs2.738 trillion.

The proposed allocation is 5% higher than the current allocation, and 20% lower than what the Higher Education Commission (HEC) had requested, sources say.

In contrast, the federal government has proposed Rs545 billion for defence for the next fiscal, which is 10% higher than the current year’s budget of Rs495 billion. The amount on account of army’s pensions and some external defence assistance is not included in the proposed allocation.

Compared to the total size of the economy, estimated to stand at Rs24 trillion for fiscal 2012-13, higher education allocation is 0.2%, while defense allocation is 2.3, of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

According to a 2007 research paper, “countries spend in general between 0.8 and 1.5% of their GDP in subsidising higher education.”

While education has been devolved to the provinces after the 18th Amendment, the HEC remains with the federal government.

Breakdown of allocation

Providing further details, sources said the HEC had requested about Rs60 billion for the next fiscal – Rs21.6 billion for development and Rs38.3 billion for non-development expenses.

Authorities, however, have suggested allocating Rs15 billion for development, and Rs32.8 billion for non-development expenses.

For the outgoing fiscal, the revised non-development budget was Rs31.5 billion while the development budget of the HEC was Rs14 billion.

The government had originally proposed Rs26.6 billion for non-development expense but had to increase the allocation after faculty protested against delay in disbursements of their salaries.

The Annual Plan Coordination Committee, headed by deputy chairman Planning Commission, will soon start reviewing the recommendations of the Priorities Committee, and table to the National Economic Council, headed by the prime minister, for final approval.


Less than required allocations are likely to affect the operations of the HEC in the next year, including salaries and the foreign scholarship programme.

The HEC and the finance ministry have been at loggerheads over the former’s finances since 2010. The finance ministry has been asking the HEC to generate its own funds if it wants to provide scholarships.

Due to funding constraints, the number of students going on foreign scholarships has drastically dropped to almost 250 per year, down from 700.

“There is huge difference between what has been allocated and what we sought and this will significantly impact our operations next year; universities situated in far flung areas will especially be affected”, said HEC executive director, Dr Sohail Naqvi.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 15th, 2012.

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Reader Comments (45)

  • Falcon
    Apr 15, 2012 - 9:55AM

    So sad but what to say, certainly expected of a state that considers national security a superior concern than social security.


  • Pakistani Mullah
    Apr 15, 2012 - 10:02AM

    Pakistani’s should spend 0 on education and about 50 percent of gdp on defence,,,that will be cool


  • Ahmer Ali
    Apr 15, 2012 - 10:37AM

    Now this time to remove/uproot corruption from Pakistan and its key departments in this budget corruption’s %age also must has to be declared/announced according to the leader’s and departments’ heads designation/post except their salaries and other allowances and pay all of them their corruption’s share/money in advance so that they couldn’t do corruption.


  • ashok
    Apr 15, 2012 - 10:45AM

    Pakistan has developed a creative method of increasing defense budget which they have used cleverly for the past many years.

    Military budget would invariably be increased couple of times in the mid-course corrections by cutting and relocating the development funds for the public and all covert defense budget such as for the production of hundreds of nuclear bombs, would be kept hidden from the eyes of the poor Pakistanis who are deprived of basic things like education, health, electricity, clean water, sanitation and infrastructure.


  • SalSal
    Apr 15, 2012 - 10:51AM

    Lol they didnt mention the portion going for DEBT payments? That’s more than the military share! Why is this article talking only about military


  • khan
    Apr 15, 2012 - 11:12AM

    Very shameful. It should have been decreased by 20%. Give back my taxes, atleast I can have better food and money for my bike. There is no research, knowledge gathering or building internal capabilities in this country. Wasting money on parties, luxury apartments in DC, more BMWs and never stopping rise in pensions. Forgot to mention about the junk toys from China, that even their own army has discarded.


  • Muhammad Ahsan Khan
    Apr 15, 2012 - 11:31AM

    “In line with its previous allocations, the government plans on allocating less than 2% of its budget to higher education and almost 20% to the military”

    It shows that Army is progressing 10 times faster than the education. The result is that the security in Pakistan is going from bad to worse every year and the education is stagnant.

    Pakistan can only progress if the budget is reversed. Only 2% for the Army but 20% for the education. The education includes from Primary to Ph.D. The top can not be properly built without
    a solid base.


  • Saad
    Apr 15, 2012 - 11:39AM

    If the PPP govt spend more on education than how will its illiterate people vote for them if they learn how to use there brains


  • Not me
    Apr 15, 2012 - 11:51AM

    Good going buddy…………………20% increase for military.


  • hyderabadi
    Apr 15, 2012 - 11:59AM

    The betrayed generation of talent.


  • Khan
    Apr 15, 2012 - 12:02PM

    and military spending is the main cause of that DEBT,, 0.2 percent of GDP for higher education, and then we expect that Pakistan will have some high quality research work in science and technology, and social sciences, perish the thought. What a shame….


  • wahab
    Apr 15, 2012 - 12:03PM

    stop fooling people… Education is provincial subject..there are provincial budgets for that.. this budget is for federal unis only!! Govt should sou the article writer


  • Pakistani first
    Apr 15, 2012 - 12:15PM

    An educated population will never vote for these thugs and looters.


  • Khan
    Apr 15, 2012 - 12:24PM

    India Pakistan Bangladesh Nepal Sri Lanka Bhutan

    % GDP spending on education 4.1 1.8 2.4 3.4 2.1 5.1


  • Zaid Hamid
    Apr 15, 2012 - 12:33PM

    There is no need for higher education, madrassa education is enough.


  • DevilHunterX
    Apr 15, 2012 - 12:44PM

    Bribing the armed forces not to implement Martial Law?


  • k. Salim Jahangir
    Apr 15, 2012 - 1:00PM

    Only 2% for education in up coming budget??During mr. Junejo’s government a program for adult literacy was started & billions of tax payers money was wasted.I was in Copenhagen those days. A parliamentary delegation headed by deputy chairman transited Copenhagen enroute to another European country.The delegation was met at Kastrup airport by our charge’d affaires Qazi Hamayun & I.During the course of discussion i pointed out that the adult literacy program had inherent fault,hence should be discontinued.If a few thousand old people were taught to sign,they would die after a few years & efforts & money would be lost.Instead a generation should be prepared,i suggested that education up to metric should be free with books etc.A net of Polytechnic schools should be established in the country.After metric students should be given choice to go to polytechnic schools & become “HUNERMAND” at government expense or else if they wanted to become “BABOOS”,they were on their own.This would have cost less.TO my utter surprise & horror one of the delegates an MNA late Mr.Khizer Hayat of Kasur ,if i remember correctly, said,”you want that the son of a MOCHI (cobbler) of my village after doing metric should come & sit before me in a chair.This is what these politicians have done to this hapless nation over the past 64 years.God bless us all !!


  • yasir
    Apr 15, 2012 - 1:44PM

    Plan of government to come again in power

    1) Create more provinces (e.g. Seraiki province) to get votes from that area
    2) CNG will remain open 7 days a week ( using quota system)
    3) Temporarily ending electricity loadshedding for 2-3 months before elections
    4) Marginal increasing package for government employees and pensioners in this budget
    5) Bogus votes

    And you know what will happen afterwards!!!Recommend

  • Sonam Shyam
    Apr 15, 2012 - 1:49PM

    Does this budgetary allocation for military also include 2.5 billion dollars the Pakistani army spends annually on developing new nuclear weapons?Recommend

  • Meekal Ahmed
    Apr 15, 2012 - 2:29PM


    This is a distorted comparison and I am surprised because you are a very competent writer on economic issues.

    You are comparing the allocation for higher education (not total education) to the total for defense. You cannot compare a part with a whole.


  • Atif Razzaq
    Apr 15, 2012 - 2:48PM

    Stop criticising ARMY
    Listen, if our corrupt politican spent genuilly only 1% out of 2, we will really see the difference in the whole education sector but they will not spent….
    On ARMY budget quota is separate and it is necessary, donnot interlink with others.Atleast ARMY is putting those in right direction..


  • Atif Razzaq
    Apr 15, 2012 - 2:49PM

    it is our requirement @Sonam Shyam:


  • Atif Razzaq
    Apr 15, 2012 - 2:50PM

    now the Government want to weak the ARMY thatwhy they were elected@yasir:


  • Anonymous
    Apr 15, 2012 - 3:05PM

    The article is highly biased and misleading. The proposed 2% is only for higher education. The primary and secondary education figures are different. Articles like these easily mislead people like Khan.


  • Arindom
    Apr 15, 2012 - 3:57PM

    careful with words like “national security” – in this context it may mean “General’s bank balance and Toys security”


  • Human
    Apr 15, 2012 - 4:44PM

    What a deception.. In order to show lower % of GDP on military they have moved the “pension” and “other expenses” out of military spending. This is to show to common people that they have reduced spending on the military since 2004. What a FARCE!


  • Khan jr
    Apr 15, 2012 - 6:34PM

    Sums up Pakistan!

    Brainless muscle power will always be more important than the health and welfare of its citizens.

    In other words “we” will provide all the protection that your money can provide to safeguard the rights of your largely illiterate and poorly fed childrenRecommend

  • Dr.X
    Apr 15, 2012 - 6:42PM

    Pakistan ranks a dismal 142 out of 163 in world rankings of total education spending.
    How do you expect this nation to succeed then?

    Full Rankings:


  • zaid hamid
    Apr 15, 2012 - 7:17PM

    buddy, you are showing CIA report, which is well known for defaming Pakistan. just wait for my own latest report on this which is in final stage in my lab.


  • mrk
    Apr 15, 2012 - 8:08PM

    It is a very selective way of presenting the story on the budget by comparing higher education to defense spending. What about spending on higher vs. primary/secondary education, where more than 90% students are situated?
    What about rural/urban health? What about the funds for the expenditures of ever-increasing ministries?

    And above all, since the debt has more than doubled in rupee terms over past 4 years, how about comparing money going for debt servicing (basically down the drain for us as the original principal was misappropriated largely) to defense including the salaries of over half million personel which support the soldier’s families?
    It is true that our defense allocation is high but is there a unilateral choice? And how well are we doing in areas where there is a choice?


  • ashok
    Apr 15, 2012 - 11:29PM


    Where did you get these figures from? From ISI?

    India does NOT spend more than 2.6 percent of its GDP on defense while Pakistan spends 3.2% of its GDP on OVERT defense spending which does not include its covert defense budget such as, billions of Dollars form CSF, and subsidized arms from China, funds for pensions, funds for defense production such as fastest growing nuclear bomb stock and so on.


  • Ch. Allah Daad
    Apr 15, 2012 - 11:46PM

    The writer has missed one important aspect. The Pak Rupee has devalued more than 10% in one year, It means education will get 8% less and Defence will get 10% more in real terms. In my view, devaluation, and inflation don’t reflect these figures correctly.


  • Umer
    Apr 16, 2012 - 12:27AM

    @Atif Razzaq:

    Atleast ARMY is putting those in right

    Where is the evidence for it in a country where there is no accountability of the Army finances?


  • Hassan
    Apr 16, 2012 - 1:46AM

    That calls for another extension for Kayani.


  • Rehman
    Apr 16, 2012 - 2:37AM

    @atif razzaq

    How do you know if army is using the budget appropriately? I have already said this a hundred times that we are slaves of our own army.


  • Apr 16, 2012 - 3:21AM

    Two percent budget for education is rather more than enough to maintain the status quo. A system of education where students pass their exams by unfair means and then move forward to become academician and civil servants at the highest level does not need more budget.

    Investment in education pays its dividend in a system which is based on merit and follows a curriculum which encourages critical thinking and analytical ability. A society controlled by feudal needs people with closed minds. Let democracy take its full revenge.Recommend

  • Anonymous
    Apr 16, 2012 - 3:40AM

    What about your spiritual gurus Ayoub, zia, NS ans mush did they spend more than this
    Come out of hatred closet and look at numbers. If you have madras faith to hate PPP then it is different.


  • Truthbetold
    Apr 16, 2012 - 6:02AM


    “What a deception.. In order to show lower % of GDP on military they have moved the “pension” and “other expenses” out of military spending. This is to show to common people that they have reduced spending on the military since 2004. What a FARCE!”

    Quite true. The actual spending on the military is about 65% of the budget if one includes salaries, pensions, perks, nuke program and debt servicing of accumulated military purchases. As a % of GDP the true number is about 8 to 12% of true GDP. Note that the GDP number itself was inflated artificially during Musharraf’s time.


  • Riaz Khan
    Apr 16, 2012 - 10:28AM

    It should be other way around! 20% education & 2% defence. Messed up priorities.


  • Meekal Ahmed
    Apr 16, 2012 - 8:29PM


    where do you get these fantastic figures from? I am a critic of high defense spending and of distorted priorities when it comes to other more crucial sectors of the economy — including education.

    But 8% of GDP?


  • Peace On Earth
    Apr 16, 2012 - 8:56PM

    It continues to baffle me why the Pakistani government is so fearful of India (hence why we spend so much on defense). Perhaps if we were to spend more money on education, infrastructure, and come up with a fair tax system so we could pay our debt this nation would progress.

    But that’s too much common sense for a Pakistani politician…


  • BLing BLing
    Apr 16, 2012 - 11:45PM

    Why would you want to spend so much on security of an uneducated public?


  • Carlos
    Apr 17, 2012 - 7:18AM

    National security should always take precedence over social security, imho. However, I strongly feel that Pakistan is not threatened by any external power that warrants 20% of GDP being spent on “national security”.


  • Truthbetold
    Apr 17, 2012 - 10:41AM

    @Meekal Ahmed:

    “where do you get these fantastic figures from? I am a critic of high defense spending and of distorted priorities when it comes to other more crucial sectors of the economy — including education.
    But 8% of GDP?”

    Valid questions. The answer first starts with Pakistan’s real GDP. During Musharraf’s time, he and Shaukat Aziz cooked up numbers to artificially boost the GDP numbers and the dollar to rupee exchange rates. Mind you, Musharaff kept the exchange rate artificially low.

    Around 2000, the Pakistani GDP was about $70B. In about a decade it grew to $200B. Now, that is possible only if the growth rate during the period averaged about 10%! Pakistan’s growth rate definitely did not average 10% during that period. So the realistic number of current GDP is probably around $120B, giving it a generous 5% growth rate.

    If you add all the items I mentioned- salaries, perks, pension, defense purchases, accumulated debt servicing on defense purchase, cost of nuke program etc., the expenses should be about $10B to $12B. This factored into the real GDP of $120B comes to the 8 to 12% figure I mentioned.


  • Muhammad Ahsan Khan
    Apr 17, 2012 - 1:02PM

    @BLing BLing

    “Why would you want to spend so much on security of an uneducated public?”

    The money is not spent on the security of the nation (uneducated public), but it is used FOR the security of the “National Security Authority”.


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