LAHORE:30 June: Teachers from different universities have welcomed Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf’s orders to release stalled funds to the Higher Education Commission (HEC), but demanded the government to provide funds as soon as possible.
On Friday, PM Raja Pervez Ashraf ordered the Finance Ministry to release the funds required to the HEC, and said the future of thousands of students was linked to these funds, and that any negligence committed in this regard would be unbearable.
He made it clear that funds allocated for higher education should be released without any delay. The HEC was facing a shortage of Rs 12 billion, an amount not released during the Fiscal Year 2011-12. The amount of Rs 6 billion was meant for development, while the other Rs 6 billion was for recurring expenditures.
Different associations of university teachers, especially the Federation of All Pakistan Universities Academic Staff Associations (FAPUASA), had demanded the government release funds, as universities and teachers were facing severe problems.
The FAPUASA also observed a strike and gave a deadline of June 30 to the government to release the funds, otherwise they would observe a countrywide strike.
Talking to Daily Times, FAPUASA Punjab Chapter President Prof Dr Suhail Aftab welcomed the orders of the PM and said this was a good gesture.
He hoped that the PM would also fulfil teachers’ other demands, including the raise in salaries announced in the budgets of 2011-12 and 2012-13.
Suhail revealed that representatives of all 74 universities’ associations also held a meeting with the HEC director on Thursday and presented their demands, on which he gave assurance. He said that besides the announcement of releasing funds, there were several other demands of the teachers, and that the FAPUASA would continue its announced schedule of strikes and observe strike on July 3 outside the Lahore Press Club.Daily Times.