The government has earmarked Rs 77.262 billion for Education Affairs and Services in the federal budget for 2019-20 against the revised allocation of Rs 97.155 billion for the current fiscal year, showing a decrease of around 20.5 percent. The government has also reduced the budgetary allocation for higher education sector. Pakistan's public expenditure on education as percentage to GDP is estimated at 2.4 percent in fiscal year 2018-19, which is the lowest in the region.
According to the budget documents Rs 28.64 billion has been earmarked for Higher Education Commission (HEC) under the Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) for 2019-20 against Rs 35.830 billion in 2018-19 which was later revised downward to Rs 30.961 billion. HEC had demanded Rs 55 billion under the PSDP for 2019-20.
Education Affairs and Services have been allocated Rs 77.262 billion for 2019-20 as compared to Rs 97.155 billion in revised estimates of 2018-19. The bulk of expenditure at Rs 65.233 billion has been allocated for Tertiary Education Affairs and Services in budget 2019-20, which is 84.4 percent of the total allocation under this head.
The government has earmarked Rs 2.831 billion for Pre-primary and Primary Education Affairs for 2019-20 against Rs 10.120 billion for 2018-19, Rs 6.718 billion for Secondary Education Affairs and Services for 2019-20 against Rs 12.365 billion for 2018-19, Rs 65.233 billion for Tertiary Education Affairs and Services against Rs 71.824 billion earmarked for 2018-19 which was later revised to Rs 71.743 billion, and Rs 1.407 billion for administration against Rs 1.588 billion for 2018-19 which was later revised to Rs 1.565 billion.
After the 18th Constitutional amendment, education was devolved to provinces, and federal government mainly finances higher education. HEC has been allocated an amount of Rs 28.646 billion for PSDP 2019-20. This includes Rs 25.777 billion for ongoing and Rs 2.869 billion for new schemes. The allocation for the new projects proposed by "Task Force on Technology Driven Knowledge Development" is Rs 4.297 billion.
An amount of Rs 35.830 billion for 178 development projects was allocated to HEC in the PSDP 2018-19. However, after rationalization, the size of the PSDP allocation was revised to Rs 30.961 billion for 136 ongoing projects.
Authorisation for release of Rs 28.898 billion has been issued for HEC. So far an amount of Rs 15.083 billion (49 percent of allocation) have been released to HEC/public sector Universities. HEC has reported an estimated utilisation of about 14 billion and rest as committed expenditure against released amount. In addition to PSDP budget, an amount of Rs 0.503 billion was also released to project titled "Award of 3000 Scholarships to students from Afghanistan under the Prime Minister's Directives through Technical Supplementary Grant (TSG).