A sub-committee of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) was surprised to learn that some 106 research projects at various universities were still incomplete after over a decade despite funding by the Higher Education Commission (HEC).
The committee’s convener Alam Khan directed the commission to submit the record of these incomplete research projects with the audit officials.
The committee chairman also expressed anger on the absence of the HEC Chairman Tariq Banuri in the meeting. Khan asked the HEC Executive Director (ED) Lt Gen (retd) Muhammad Asghar about the chairman. The ED replied that Banuri was in his office.
Later, HEC chairman arrived at the meeting. Khan asked Banuri to send an official letter in advance if he had any reason for absence from the PAC meeting.
The committee reviewed the audit paras of HEC. As per the audit report, HEC issued funds to different universities for research projects. However, some 106 projects of 583 were still incomplete after 14 years, audit findings pointed out.
Besides this, the audit officials apprised the committee that the commission sent various scholars abroad for P.hD and other scholarships. However, 132 of them did not return. They added that even the cost of training was not recovered from these scholars by HEC. At this, ED said that a case in this regard was already in the court, adding that they have made some recoveries. He asserted that the audit officials dismissed the related para from the report.
The convener stated that the scholarships should only be awarded to the deserving students not the well-connected and rich people.