NA briefed about lowest spending on S&T sector

STAFF REPORT ISB: The National Assembly Standing Committee has been informed that Pakistan is spending only 0.5 percent of the GDP on scientific research which is lowest in the region.

Such low spending is negatively affecting economy and job creation in the country, officials of the Ministry of Science and Technology told the committee.

Briefing the committee, which met with Tariq Bashir Cheema in the chair, Secretary SandT Kamran Qureshi alleged that science and technology has been given low priority by the government as the budgetary allocation for the sector is continuously declining.

High-ups of different organisations under the ministry umbrella said that work on some projects had been stopped while others would be abandoned if allocations against new projects were not made in the upcoming budget under PSDP for 2015-16.

The officials maintained that some organisations are losing PhD staff and the numbers of doctors is in decline following no works and projects due to no allocations.

The secretary briefed the committee that total approved development budget was Rs1.211 billion for 2014-15 for 39 projects; however only Rs547.99 million were released in the first three quarters. In the year 2014-15, 17 projects were completed and 22 projects will continue beyond June 2015.

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