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HEC asks Swat university to return Rs127m unused funds

MINGORA: The educationists and civil society members here on Thursday showed their concern over the lapse of Rs127.48 million funds, which were released by the Higher Education Commission (HEC) for phase-I of the University of Swat for the fiscal year 2016-17.

They said that after the passage of 10 years the building of Swat university could not be constructed owing to inefficient varsity management and lack of interest shown by the provincial government.

According to the information, the HEC sent a letter dated Aug 24, 2017 to the University of Swat for withdrawal of the unutilised development funds from the slow moving project.

The letter stated that the monitoring report of the project showed that Rs127.48 million could not be utilised in the project activities mainly due to lack of proper planning and management on the part of the university.

The funds were released for fiscal year 2016-17

“It takes a lot of effort to get the development funds released from the Planning Commission and Ministry of Finance. All the efforts are useless if these funds are not utilised properly and timely,” the letter stated.

It also stated that due to the non-utilisation of the released funds by the universities, the Ministry of Finance did not release Rs11.66 billion to HEC in the fiscal year 2016-17 which affected the fast moving projects of other institutions.

“It has been decided by the competent authority to withdraw the unutilised funds from the university to divert them to the fast moving projects in the higher education sector,” stated the letter.

After learning about the lapse of funds, people here have demanded of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government to take legal action against the university management.

“I am shocked to see the gate of the university which could not be completed until now. Buildings of all other universities have already been completed,” said Ahmad Shah, an educationist in Mingora. He said that a big amount of money was being spent on rents of buildings hired for the university.

“Not having own building of the university means a huge educational loss for the youth of Swat,” he said.

Published in Dawn, September 1st, 2017

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