The government will miss the mark to accomplish the ambitious goal of spending 4 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) on education budget by the year 2018, according to the reports.
A fragile and uneven upsurge in the budget of education has been witnessed posing an incredible challenge to the government’s undertaking of spending 4 percent of GDP on education by 2018, according to a report by Alif Ailaan.
The average spending on education budget in Pakistan has hovered around 2 percent of the GDP. This year, the federal and provincial government allocated Rs84.19 billion to education. This amount becomes 2.83 percent of the GDP.
All this indicate that it is impossible for the government to fulfill the goal of spending 4 percent of GDP on education by 2018.
How much money government need to reach 4% of GDP by 2018?
Reportedly, the expected allocation for education in the budget of FY 2017-18 will need to be Rs1,177.38 billion to hit the mark of 4 percent. This allocation will require an increase of at least Rs.386.676 billion in one year.
The four budgets from FY 2013-14 to the recent budget of 2016-17 passed by the provincial and federal government showed an increase of Rs.210.89 billion in the allocation to education. The government will need to increase the education budget cumulatively more than 1.8 times the increase they allocated in these four budgets.
Uneven provincial education budget
The federal government’s share of the education budget is less than half that allocated to Punjab and Rs.70 billion less than that allocated to Sindh. While all the other provinces saw an increase in the education budget, Punjab and Balochistan have a minor increase in the FY 2016-17 budget.
On one hand, the funds set aside for education in Sindh and KPK received a greater percentage increase than the funds allocated in the previous budget. The percentage increase of education funds for Punjab is smaller than that of the previous year.
An unbalanced allocation to education budget for the maintenance, improvement and enlargement of physical assets of Education Department has been witnessed during the FY 2016-17. While Punjab received Rs.18.342 billion more than the development budget allocated previous year, the federal and Sindh saw a minor increase and KPK and Balochistan have a decrease in the allocation.