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Govt to increase education, health budgets in next fiscal

LAHORE: Punjab Finance Minister Mian Mujtaba Shujaur Rehman has said that the government will increase education and health budgets during the next fiscal year.

Rehman said this while addressing as the chief guest the first convocation of the Punjab University College of Pharmacy (PUCP) at Pearl Continental Hotel on Monday.

PU Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Mujahid Kamran presided over the ceremony while PUCP Principal Prof Dr Mubashar Ahmed Butt, PU Examinations Controller Prof Dr Liaqat Ali, Convocation Convener Dr Syed Nawazish-i-Husain, Chief Medical Officer Dr Nauman Ahmed, faculty members and a large number of students attended it.

The chief guest distributed 178 Doctor of Pharmacy degrees among graduates. Saba Zia got gold medal for overall first position while Hafiz Muhammad Irfan Nazar got gold medal on showing outstanding performance in industrial pharmacy.

Addressing the ceremony, Minister Rehman said that education and health sectors were on top priority of the government and that the provincial government had spent 26 percent of its total budget on education sector during the last year.

He said that the Punjab government had taken steps for the welfare of pharmacists including ensuring their mandatory appointments in hospitals, improvement of their service structure, delegation of powers of drug inspector to pharmacists in hospitals and mandatory appointment of pharmacists in distribution channels. Noting that pharmacists could play important role in healthcare system, the minister advised the graduates to serve the ailing humanity with passion and excel in their profession with dedication.

Vice Chancellor Dr Kamran said that a lot of verses of the Holy Quran stress observing natural phenomena and resolving mysteries of the universe. This reflected the importance of acquisition of knowledge in the religion of Islam. He said that average spending of the world countries on education was around 5 percent of their gross domestic products (GDPs) while Pakistan was spending less than 2 percent of its GDP.

He said that total GDP of the United States was $16 trillion while it was spending around $800 billion on education and around $320 billion on research and development while volume of Pakistan’s GDP was only around $220 billion. He said that acquisition of knowledge was a must for respectable survival in the comity of nations. He advised the students to work hard, develop strong grasp over their subjects, do justice and cooperate with each other. 

Dr Mubashar Butt said that the college was the oldest seat of learning in the discipline of pharmacy in the country. He requested the finance minister to allocate money in the next budget for paid internship of students.

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