- By Dr. Imtiaz Ahmad
No doubt, that the country is in a financial crisis, but it doesn’t mean that only one department of public sector may be targeted. Financial management is indeed very technical and hard even in this digital world. Wise management saves nine if done on time by experts. Every politician, policymaker, and government official blames each other and the opposition and ex-government for the crisis and devaluation, and financial mismanagement. Indeed, there is a high scarcity of Policymakers and experts in the country to manage and guide the government for a better tomorrow. Otherwise, they would have suggested the best management without while in government or in opposition as in each situation they are Pakistanis and have the same duties, being highly paid and elected for the same business. The blaming and penalizing government policies have ruined the country as the energy of officials and the government for betterment is almost used for punishing rather than to work for the country. How a country can face a severe financial chomp that has significant natural resources, dedicated public, considerable geographical location, nuclear power, a strong army, supportive friendship of many financially stabled countries, the best climate, and other fractures that are required for making a good nation.
The country is going to be a failed state if the same situation continued. The face value of the currency is decreasing day by day, which has made the life of the nation depressing. Government employees are more facing the same situation for the last few years. The universities are mainly targeted for the last few years wherein heavy cuts on the recurring grants are implemented. Several facilities are banned for the last few years, research grants are terminated, and the National and International conferences are banned. Travel grants are stopped and various other facilities for establishment labs are terminated. Recurring budgets are contracted due to which various universities have observed strikes for many months during the last financial year. The approved allowances of DRA, and others are denied and are delayed for years. Why are the universities and higher education targeted by the government? Is it also a target of the IMF? if so, the government must analyze and answer, whether without higher education a nation can survive or not?
Why is the research environment disturbed by the financial crisis? Why are only the university teachers and the universities targeted? Students shall suffer a lot as fee must be increased in this situation.
The heavy budgetary cuttings of government for higher Education have raised several questions. How the budget request of Rs 104.983 billion is reduced only to 30 billion rupees for the CFY by the HEC? How the salaries shall be made possible during the year if financial provision is not ensured? The valid justification of the annual budget for Higher Education by the Executive Director HEC is highly recommended by the association of university the teachers. The finance department must revert its decision of cruel heavy cuts on the already suffering universities. The government must realize that the universities are the main departments that can provide good leaders and can provide a good nation to run various departments effectively. The financial problems produced for these universities shall ruin the situation. Investments in higher education are more required in such situations to wisely handle the current instability in the future. Unfortunately, the heavy financial cuts on higher education show the insincerity of the government with the country to travel for prosperity. The teachers at the university are facing already various problems of appointments, promotion, deprivation, unjustified differences in pay, and unwise division by the higher Education commission for which the teachers are already on strike and have challenged the same situation in various courts.
The Finance Department must also reserve a budget for the due backdate promotion of university teachers under the law, which is ignored by the HEC in violation of its own ordinance. A sit-in in front of the HEC headquarters at Islamabad is already announced by the BPS teachers by the countrywide universities on June 15, 2022.
- The Author is working as Associate Professor at the University of Malakand.