The federal government has designated a budget of only Rs97.098 billion for education affairs and services in the fiscal year 2023-24. This allocation reflects a 5.5 per cent increase compared to the revised allocation of Rs91.777 billion for the current fiscal year.
Pakistan’s public expenditure on education, as a per centage of GDP, is estimated to be 1.7 per cent in the fiscal year 2022-23, a slight increase from 1.4 per cent in the previous year. However, this figure remains the lowest in the region.
Of the total allocation, the bulk of expenditure amounting to Rs76.589 billion has been allocated for Tertiary Education Affairs and Services in the budget for 2023-24, accounting for 79 per cent of the total allocation under this category.
Furthermore, the government has designated Rs4.468 billion for pre-primary and primary education affairs in the upcoming fiscal year, compared to Rs3.786 billion in 2022-23. Additionally, Rs10.778 billion has been earmarked for Secondary Education Affairs and Services in 2023-24, as opposed to Rs8.863 billion in the previous year.
The budget for administration has also increased, with Rs3.698 billion allocated compared to the revised figure of Rs2.010 billion for 2022-23, which was later revised to Rs2.430 billion.
Since the implementation of the 18th Constitutional Amendment, education has been devolved to the provinces, making the federal government primarily responsible for financing higher education.
According to budget documents, the Higher Education Commission (HEC) has been allocated Rs59.71 billion under the Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) for 2023-24, a significant increase from the previous year’s allocation of Rs44.718 billion.