APSUP requests educational relief package for private universities

By Adnan Rafique

ISLAMABAD: In view of current circumstances, Association of Private Sector Universities Pakistan (APSUP) has requested Prime Minister of Pakistan for an educational relief package for private sector universities.
A letter written to the Prime Minister of Pakistan by Prof. Dr Chaudhry Abdul Rehman Chairman APSUP states that in this time of national emergency where everyone is moving towards a lock down, our students are bearing the burden with all the stakeholders of the education sector.
He mentioned various steps undertaken by the private sector universities including multiple alternative pedagogies and technology to ensure the students along with other stakeholders may not suffer. In this hour of need, Pakistani private sector universities stand with the Prime Minister of Pakistan to combat the COVID-19 and every action in this regard, would be taken as our national duty. But during the lock down, private sector universities need to support the staff so that they can easily feed their families without worries and stand shoulder to shoulder throughout this difficult time.
It is the time to rise as a nation and the necessary steps should help the private sector and protect from the financial bankruptcy. Firstly, as teachers as valuable asset of any nation and they should be given top priority in everything. In this critical situation, government should make arrangements for provision of salaries to teaching and non-teaching staff of private sector universities during this lock down period. Secondly, NEPRA should waive off 50% of their bills to the private universities during the lock down. Thirdly, all direct and indirect taxes of private universities including annual fee/charges of regulatory authorities should be waived off for this financial year. Fourthly, the private sector universities which have taken loans from commercial banks, should be given financial relaxation.
The government should direct commercial banks to reschedule such loans during lock down period. Lastly, special long term interest free loans should be offered to the private sector universities to mitigate the financial impact of the crisis.
The Chairman APSUP Prof. Dr Chaudhry Abdul Rehman hoped that facilation to education by Prime Minister of Pakistan, will strengthen private sector universities and give financial cover which will ultimately help in providing financial to the people who matter.