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LAHORE, July 16: Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif has abolished 15 per cent reserved seats for federal government employees at Shaikh Zayed Medical College, Lahore.

He has rejected health department’s recommendations for a 20 per cent increase in tuition fee and Rs500 as entrance test fee, states the new admission policy announced by the Punjab government on Tuesday.

An official privy to developments told Dawn that 15 per cent seats were reserved for federal government employees at Shaikh Zayed Medical College when it was under the administrative control of the Cabinet Division.

The Punjab government announced in the new admissions policy that there would be no seat quota for federal employees and other provinces at Shaikh Zayed Medical College. “This time admissions to all 100 seats at Shaikh Zayed Medical College will be done on an open merit basis in Punjab,” the official said.

The government announced that the Shaikh Zayed Medical College administration would continue to charge Rs200,000 as tuition fee against each admission and other charges under various heads.

Tuition fee for other public sector medical colleges -- Rs18,000 only -- will be charged as usual and this difference of fee structure between Shaikh Zayed Medical College and other public medical colleges in Punjab might trigger a controversy during admissions for the 2013-14 session, the official said.

The Punjab government has not increased the number of seats in medical colleges that currently stands at 3,405 besides 216 seats at dental colleges.

According to the new policy, all admissions will be centralised and the University of Health Sciences will conduct the entrance test for admissions.

A spokesman for the Punjab Health Department said there would be no change in the seat quota for other provinces as well as Azad Kashmir.