LAHORE: Merely increasing allocation for the education sector in the annual fiscal plan is of no use if it is not utilised fully, say most participants in a roundtable conference on ‘Budget hurdles and implementation status of Article 25-A.’

MPAs Dr Nausheen Hamid, Bushra Butt, Lubna Faisal and Wiqas Hasan were prominent among the participants in the conference, arranged by Alif Ailaan in collaboration with Kafka Welfare Organization at a The Mall hotel on Thursday.

The participants said that with downward revision in budget and its non-utilisation, implementation of Article 25-A of the Constitution which had declared “free and compulsory education” a fundamental right for all children aged 5 to 16 years could not be ensured. They said that without formation of rules of business for Article 25-A, its implementation could not be ensured.

Dr Nausheen said the government officials also created hurdles in the implementation of Article 25-A by delaying release of funds.

Lubna Faisal was of the view that all stakeholders should join hands to reform education sector and to resolve its budgetary issues.

Bushra Butt said poverty, missing facilities and quality of education were major hurdles in the implementation of Article 25-A.

Earlier, Alif Ailaan coordinator Umair Asif said that overall 33pc allocations – both under the development and non-development heads -- in the 2014-15 budget could not be utilised primarily because of lack of planning on the part of education department. Ironically, some 50pc of the development budget lapsed. Only allocations for salary were fully utilised, he said.

Published in Dawn, June 19th, 2015

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